Bus rides – the good, the funny, the forgettable

It’s hard getting used to the fact that I don’t have a car right now *bawls*. So the bus it is, if I’m to go a little further than where my legs would take me. Riding bus is never without its drama though. For me, at least.


Imagine me stepping into the bus, saying hi to the driver only to be greeted with silence, or a disgruntled hmmph, who then proceeds to hit the accelerator, sending me hurtling forwards, bag and umbrella flying – before I can grab on to the rail. That’s me straight out of an action comedy! Oh well!

So I find a seat and bump along and I’m recalling my teen years when I had to take 2 buses daily to get to and from college. In the absence of queues, and courtesy in the third world, or bus doors even, I literally had to fight to get on the bus. Not that I was ever very good at shoving and elbowing which explains why I would often end up being one of the last few to get on… if I can even call it that. To this day, I swear I still have PTSD from hanging out of moving door-less buses and being pasted against the windscreen of the bus. Not funny!

Then there was that time adventurous lil me hopped on a bus in Australia to go check out the Queen Victoria mall in Sydney. This was before the days of GPS and smartphones. I asked the bus driver where I should get off and he wasn’t very helpful. Maybe he was having a bad day. I tried asking some of the passengers and they were all having a bad day. Sometimes, you just can’t win.

Then there’s the story of my first bus ride in California. I was new in town and didn’t know my way around. One day, I took a bus to the university to settle some admin stuff. On the way back, I watched helplessly as the bus sped past my stop before I could ring the bell. I panicked and stumbled to the front of the bus to tell the bus driver that I’d missed my stop. I’m not sure what I expected him to do except maybe to let me off at the next stop.

But you know what? Instead he told me to sit back down, then he turned around and announced to everyone on the bus that he was going to circle back so he could drop me off at my exact stop. An even bigger surprise was that everyone on the bus was okay with it too! I know, I couldn’t believe it either. The whole bus took a turn back just for me. H*ll yeah! Talk about the kindest bus driver ever, and such an agreeable lot of passengers too, bless them.

So these are some of my bus stories, the good, the funny and the forgettable. They’re always fun to tell. Do you have a bus story to share?

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  • Ray

    Hey Clairily,

    Those are some cool adventures, since moving to the USA from London, and then the city to suburbs, I now go the route of the car! For years it was tube, buses and trains. I didn’t even have a drivers license until I moved to the USA. Thanks for the cool stories….

  • Susie@homemaker-mom

    Hello! I love your Bus story. I just moved months ago to a big city. We sometimes take the bus but our first family outing on one was something. Me & a lady had conversation when another lady butted in and started yelling at us and getting mad at our opinions! My kids eyes got real big cause it was her first time riding on a city public bus. She said mom are all bus rides like this?? And I laugh at what you said in the start about the bus driver not saying hello back lol I also try to be friendly only to get a grumpy humfffp,,,, form the driver. LOL
    Found you via #SITSShareFest today friend. Would love a visit at homemaker-mom.com someday!

  • Emma

    Love the elbowing no-Q bus entry! My now-teenaged son’s most shining memory of east Africa was a dalla dalla ride where we were sitting literally under two other people (like we were sat on), we couldn’t see out the window and ended up by default getting out of the “bus” when the two women on top of us got out. Out of all our adventures somehow that bus ride strikes him as the most impressive!

    I think your california bus turn-around was equally impressive in another way… !

  • Brittnei

    Wow, I can’t think of any bus stories that I remember that vividly. I did take a bus to different campuses within Rutgers University while I was going there for post graduate study. Then there was the bus rides I took while in Spain or was it 1 and then I have taken the bus to the mall when I was younger in my hometown. Thanks for sharing these with us at Countdown in Style. 🙂

  • April

    No bus stories for me, although I spent lots of time on them. I remember getting up at 4 a.m. to take the two hour bus ride to high school, and the bus and train trip to college. I ran into everyone, but I’d have a book or read and stay in my own little world. Thanks for sharing with Countdown in Style.