Tuesday, November 30, 2010

On the bus. . .

This past week-end, I took the bus several times to the center of the city. I sometimes get tired of the bus, but if I have my ipod with me and some groovy tunes or a message playing I don’ t mind. This particular trip, a senior citizen lady at the front of the bus was saying some heated words to the bus driver. She was also directing her words to all the people on the bus, but since she was using the local dialect and speaking quite heatedly, I couldn’t catch what she was saying. The bus driver was also exchanging words, only his words seemed twice as loud as the old ladies’. At one stop, he even stood up and threw up his hands in exasperation. An older man at the back of the bus, near to where I was sitting also got in on the argument. “Just drive the bus mister,” said the man across the aisle from me.

The bickering continued on between the older lady and the bus driver, and finally, the bus stopped at a place which was clearly not a stop and the lady got off the bus cursing the bus driver as she did.

At the next stop, I got off the bus as did the man who had joined in the quarrel. I was very curious as to what could ignite such a passionate argument between two strangers on the bus, so I asked the man.”Excuse me sir,” I said. “What was the problem on the bus.”

“The bus driver was smoking. “

??? I respond with a blank look.

“The bus driver was smoking, but it’s not legal to smoke on the bus. The lady confronted the bus driver, and he lost his temper.”

“Oh, I see. Yes, that was not very good of the bus driver to break the rules. Thanks for helping translate,” I say, and we part ways.

I can understand how annoying it is when people smoke on the bus since literally every other bus I take in Hengyang has someone smoking it up. But, I hardly feel like it was worthy of their passionate exchange. Just more proof that eating spicy Hunan food makes people spicy and that people here need J.


Drew and Rachel said...

Sometimes I might like to have a few words with the smoking bus drivers too, especially when my babies are with me. Oh well.

But I have found that cab drivers are always, always willing and sensitive enough not to smoke when a (foreign) pregnant lady or (foreign) babies are the in car.

Julie Hodges said...

Funny how people would smoke directly under the "No Smoking" sign on the bus.
Looking at the pic you have with this entry makes me miss ol' HY. It's hard to be in between cultures. Though it's been a few months since we've been back, the transition is still continuing.