Wednesday, September 17, 2003

London Bus Rules

1. Whatever time you aim to get to the bus stop, the bus will sail past you when you are just too far from the stop to get there in time.

2. If you run to catch it the driver will wait until you are almost at the doors before closing them and driving off pretending he hasn't seen you.

3. Once you are waiting at the stop, everyone who comes along afterwards will ask you when the bus is due and will glare at you when it hasn't turned up by the time you said.

4. The bus will only come once you have waited for twice the scheduled interval between buses or until you are going to be ten minutes late for your meeting or doctor's appointment, whichever is later.

5. When it does turn up, the bus will proceed to sit there until the little old lady with the walking stick who waved at him four hundred yards down the road makes her way to the stop and gets on.

6. When the bus finally leaves the stop you look out of the back window and see another two buses coming down the road, both of which will leapfrog yours and get to your destination long before you do.

7. Halfway to where you want to go a big group of lads will get on the bus. Some of them will try to evade paying the fare and the bus driver will refuse to move until they do. The lads will then sit all around you and all start playing the ringtones on their mobile phones very loudly to see whose is best.

8. By the time you reach your stop so many people have got onto the bus that you need to clamber over mountains of shopping bags, pushchairs and small children just to reach the door. The driver will have long since decided that you don't want to get off there and will already be moving on to the next stop.

9. When you finally get off the bus you look at your watch and work out that if you'd walked the whole way you'd have been there ten minutes ago.

10. If you take all of this into account and leave early enough to get to your appointment just in time then your journey will be so perfect that you arrive hours early instead.

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