All entries for Friday 20 May 2005

May 20, 2005

The long dark teatime of the bus timetable

Today, I had to wait 40 minutes for a bus.

This, in itself, is not a remarkable thing. I have sat many times for that amount of time upon the wall opposite my house, kicking my heels and cursing the bus company to hell and back, whilst minutes tick by and my life continues somewhere else without me. Every ten minutes, my lovely timetable promises me, every ten minutes you too can get on a bus and glide past Hearsall Common on your way to things glorious and new. Except it fails to tell you that three times out of five you too can sit on a wall and pull a muscle in your neck trying to crane round the corner for any sign of a doubledeckered vehicle – anything with wheels and a driver in fact – that will actually get you to the place you wish to be.

Anyway, rant aside, yes. My point was that Mr Bus Stop and I are old friends, and many a bloody miserable happy hour we have spent together. What was remarkable about today's little encounter was that the 40 minute wait was actually a scheduled 40 minute wait. In the middle of the day. Buses (supposedly) run every ten minutes every weekday, apart from this mysterious 14.53–15.28 vacuum.

So what happens in this time? It's too late for lunch, and too early for tea. What do the buses do? Where do they go, if not chugging by my house? Is there some mysterious bus convention where drivers impart the wisdoms of the bus world to the young and uninitiated? Or is there some secret rite, known only to One That Drives A Double-Decker, which must be faithfully observed during this period?

It's all very mysterious… (and all very distracting from revision, which is also good.)

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