Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Meet up at Noon.

We arrange to meet at noon. Outside the Central Library to be more precise. She sets off to Day Care. She didn’t want to forgo the mornings dancing class. In order to keep to the noon meet up, I have to catch the 10. 56 am bus. As is usual whenever you are running to a strict timetable of sorts, whenever you have an appointment to keep, when time is of the essence, the bus was late. Nearly ten minutes late.  At least I hadn’t forgotten anything. Letter, camera, mobile phone (that’s a first!) bus pass, purse and my watch strapped firmly on my left wrist.

There seemed  to be a passenger waiting to get on the bus at every bus stop. The road seemed  unusually busy and clogged with traffic. We seemed to crawl into the bus station. I looked at my watch.  Half of the town’s residents ambled slowly onto the bus like a line of snails. The other half crawled on at the next stop. I looked at my watch. We stopped at every stop to either allow a passenger to get on or allow one to get off.  I looked again at my watch. Time was ticking away.

The young girl on the seat in front was gazing down at the screen of one of her mobile phones. She had two. One in each hand. She shuffled sideways and placed a booted foot on the seat at the side of her. I wondered if she had paid for two seats. Her bag was placed on the other seat as well as her booted foot.  A young man sat on the opposite seat to me, he looked about seventeen, had nodded off. Must be tiring work all this studying at college I thought to myself. I looked again at my watch.  We picked up another passenger at the top of the hill before dropping down the steep incline into Elland.  I would have to ring her if I was late.

The girl in front had long hair. It was draped over the grab rail at the top of her seat. It occurred to me that if the driver suddenly braked and I had to grab the rail, I would probably end up  pulling her hair. I wondered what she would do and whether it would cause her to  look up from the screen of her mobile phone. She was still busy gazing down at either one phone screen or the other. Nearly everyone seems to spend their entire time gazing down at a mobile phone screen these days, with fingers buzzing around it as they text. Either that or they are have wires sprouting from their ears.  Sometimes its both.  I look at my watch.

Surely we can move quickly along this stretch of straight road I think to myself but no, we are foiled by a tanker joining the traffic at the junction and moving at a snails pace in front of us until he finally pulls into a garage to deliver his load.  We slowly chug up the hill, crawl into town, every set of traffic lights at red, I check my watch for what must be the thousandth time.  At last I finally ring the bell and make my way forward to the door.

“Thank you!” I utter to the driver as I step down onto the pavement and hurry onto the Library. I look at my watch. Five minutes to! I am on time! An elderly lady with two shopping bags at her side is sat on the bench in front of the Library.  I notice her because of her unusual hat.  As I stand waiting, she gets up from the bench and saunters past me. She comes to a standstill on my right and after placing both bags at her feet she peers over the road as if looking for someone.  She continues to stare across the road for a good five minutes before picking up her bags and returning to the bench from which she came. She sits back down.

I spy the grey vehicle finally turning the corner. It’s the day care car. Her eager face can be seen peering out of the nearside window and she waves at me,  so I make my way across the street to collect her.  Despite all those seemingly insurmountable odds, I did arrive here first.  I am firmly resolute though that the rest of our days journey will definitely be made on foot!

TG

18 comments:

  1. What do you suppose civilization will become with everyone becoming more and more engrossed in their electronic toys instead of what's going on around them?

    I guess I'm more aware of it because of my military training. I'm used to watching for threats and possible escape routes. I can't help but wonder what would happen to some of those people if they needed to react suddenly to a situation.

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  2. That is the big question of today I think. More importantly and of interest to me personally is how they manage to walk around gazing at a screen and not either bump into everyone or have a nasty accident. I have tried to text whilst walking and I can't do it!

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  3. Hi TG, Maybe she was looking at blogs on her phone. Now that I have an Android phone I can do that. Sometimes I need to as the kids are using our computer.

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  4. When I read of your journeys on public transport I rejoice in the fact that I don't have to use it. Is it any wonder that people use their cars rather than either the buses or the the trains. My friend had an appointment at a hospital some 30 miles away and it cost her and her husband £71 for the privilege of standing on a commuter train for an hour each way.

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  5. Diane, its not all that bad! I only feature the bus in this post because I needed to get there at a certain time and you can't really blame the bus for all the traffic. In fact it can be argued that in the days when folks didn't own a car, bus services were far better and you were more likely to not have them run late! Its because of so many car owners (and less and less people using trains) that the price of train travel is so expensive and they don't put enough carriages on. The oil tanker delivering petrol to the garage that held us up wouldn't have occurred either as most stuff went by train. So just giving the other side of the equation. Though I do sometimes moan about buses etc, I wouldn't swop for a car thereby adding to all the problems they cause

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  6. Well done for overcoming the hurdles conspiring to make you late for your meeting with K. Not easy, when you have to rely on public transport.

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  7. I remain a dinosaur in my own right. I still don't own a cellphone though I'm guilty of owning an i-Touch. I'm glad you didn't engross yourself in such things because the description of your trip is really vivid...you've got quite the gift of observation and are skillful in presenting it to us...I like that a lot!

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  8. TG, I think the journey was well worth the time. After all, look at the great blog post it made and it was interesting! As you talked about each person you saw, I was already mapping out what their lives must look like. See? That's a good post!
    But, as for all the cell phones going full speed everywhere you look, it's the same here. People's heads are bent into a permanent U.
    It's a wonder anyone recognizes a face anymore. In another 10 yrs, we'll only be recognized by our thumbs.

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  9. Penny, yes! Despite all odds I was still there first.
    Joe. Thank you for those compliments! I do have a mobile but if I tried to do what the 'younger end' do, I'd either bump into everyone or end up having a nasty accident!
    Jenny, yes perhaps in a few years time, we'll all evolve curved necks to accommodate the need to be looking down all the time, and maybe some new eyes at the top of our heads so we can text AND see where we are going at the same time

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  10. Isn't that always the way when you are in a hurry and don't want to be late everything seems to go against you, glad you made it on time.
    xxx

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  11. Your so right Lo! Went on the bus today and no such hold ups, but then I didn't need to be anywhere at a certain time.

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  12. Technogran, it's the same way in our area as far as people being so attached to their mobile phones. I can't help but notice how many people put their phones down first when dining out or talk/text on them everywhere. We have cfell phones, but use them for keeping in touch when both are out and about to check and see if anything is needed, etc. I don't even have the text feature enabled on mine and as for the camera - that's what a digital camera is for. GOod thing you don't live around our area because public transportation is non-existant, sadly.

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  13. Same with us! I can't understand what they are doing with theirs! Surely they can't be constantly texting people? Some play games on them I think, and of course some listen to music but they are becoming additional appendages to their bodies, held constantly in the hand whereas mine is in my bag out of sight.

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  14. Hi T.G. I enjoyed reading your post, and you are very orientated to your surroundings, and that it good. Everywhere you go these days you see people walking and riding, with some kind of phone or gagit in their hands, or ears. Some are not very concious of their surroundings at all, or at least that is how it appears.
    I have a cell phone that I carry with me for emergencies or a quick call home once in awhile. It is against the law here in Ontario, Canada, and other places too, that you can't drive and talk on your phone at the same time for logical reasons.
    I was at a music concert outdoors this past summer, and their were about 10 young adults infront of us all huddled in a circle, listening to the music, talking to each other, and texting on their phones, all at the same time. Talk about multitasking! ;0
    Changing the subject here, I want to thank you for stopping by my blog, and becoming a follower.
    I consider myself a part-time blogger, and so you may only see me from time to time, but I am glad to finally meet you, and look forward to stopping by when I can and doing some reading on your blog. Thank you also for all your helpful topics on Blogging. It has helped me on several occassions.
    Take care, and have a lovely rest of the weekend.
    Dianne :)

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  15. Thank YOU Dianne for your comments, and keep blogging!

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  16. Interesting post TG glad you arrived at your destination on time. Enjoy your Sunday with K , Sheila.

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  17. Thank you very much for your comment Catches the Eye.

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