On Friday, K had to be escorted down to the Adult Education Centre to begin her new course in Yoga. Yoga! As if she’s not laid back and relaxed enough! It really ought to be me beginning Yoga class seeing as I am the uptight one out of this duo! As it turned out, I very nearly needed more than Yoga, I nearly needed some smelling salts to help my recovery from shock! The reason? We had to use the bus before 9.30am and therefore we had to pay some bus fare.
She needed to be there for 9.30am, for that was the start time of the class. Usually we would have set off and walked down but it was absolutely pouring down with rain, and my long term reader will be well aware by now that I hate rain. (must have been of the feline persuasion in a previous life methinks.)
Now for some strange reason beyond anyone’s comprehension (and may I say fairly typical of the strange laws we tend to have accumulated in this country of ours) you can’t use your bus pass before half past nine in the morning. Why? You may well ask! Therein lies the conundrum. I haven’t a clue. Used to be you couldn't use them after 15.30pm either but that was changed some years ago. Is it a dread that all pensioners and disabled persons will suddenly cram themselves onto the buses before 9.30am thereby causing havoc with timetables and drivers breakfast times?
We who reside in this country have largely given up trying to fathom out some of the strange and hard to understand rules and regulations that have accumulated over the years. Another example is, why can you ride for free on the buses (well, as long as its after 9.30am that is) and yet you have to pay on the trains?
Anyway, we boarded the bus and asked for two tickets for our destination, a matter of a mere seven bus stops in duration, not hardly worth parking your derriere for.
“ That’ll be two pounds and eighty pence please!” the driver said. As he in all probability realised by looking at us both that we would normally, in twenty minutes time precisely, be using our free bus passes he was obviously geared up for the likelihood of incredulous looks of flabbergasted disbelief on one of our faces, namely mine. I very nearly came over all faint. It’s been so long since we had to pay to ride the bus, I simply hadn’t realised just how much the bus fares had risen in the meantime.
I was sorely tempted to ask if we could pay a deposit and then pay the rest off in weekly amounts.
“ It’s £1.80p each!” he explained when he noted the look of disbelief and horror on my face. Hmm. Blasted rain. Next time, we’ll get a taxi, its cheaper by some 30 pence! But hang on a goddam minute! Aren’t we all supposed to be encouraging folks to leave their cars at home and begin using public transport instead?
As we stepped off the bus at our stop he quipped “You’ll have to travel later next time!” Yes. We’ll jolly well walk down in future even if its pouring down. I’ll invest in a huge brolly to cover us both, it’ll turn out cheaper. Either that, or I’ll book a taxi. Cheapskate aren’t I?
TG (can’t wait to see K doing the yoga exercise above, can you?)