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Friday, 13 February 2015

Am I a terrible person because I don't want to talk to your child on the bus

Got on a bus leaving campus today. Went to sit at the back in my usual spot when I saw a kid sitting by himself. He seemed kinda young to be riding the bus alone (like 6 or 7 maybe), but there was no adult who was evidently attached to him.

A few people got on the bus at the same time as me and the child immediately went up to a couple of them and said "do you want to play with me?" After a couple of polite declines, the child proceeded to sit in about 3 different seats and swing around one of the handrails, with no intervention from the man I eventually discovered to be his father (via the repeated tossing back and forth of the child's backpack).

The child found a slightly more receptive audience when a group of girls got on a few stops later. They politely engaged in some conversation and what I think was an exchange of popcorn from the child. All the while I am staring at my phone, have my headphones in and am desperately trying not to make eye contact. I figured I was safe, until the gaggle of girls departed the bus. Then the child came and sat next to me.

Luckily he didn't try to talk to me. I mean, if I don't want to engage with adults in conversation on the bus, I certainly don't want to be trapped talking to a child for half an hour. I didn't even move my backpack off the seat next to me. Now maybe that makes me a bad person, but the bus was not that full. And also, go sit with your freaking dad!

Of course, being the ADD child he seemed to be, eventually he had to move from my seat as well. He went back to his first attempt, and chatted up the girl at the back of the bus. I had to laugh when she asked him if he was an only child; I couldn't decide what I thought the answer would be: yes, because he seems overly comfortable talking to adults, or no, or else he'd be able to entertain himself quietly on the bus.

At some point in the middle of this conversation, I was also offered popcorn, which I politely declined.

When his last captive conversationalist got off the bus, he degenerated into bursts of "who let the dogs out" and then asked a few more people (myself included) if they wanted to play with him and his dad.

I nicely said "no thank you", despite wanting to suggest a game called "shut up and sit down before I throw you off the freaking bus".

Seriously, there's a fine line between friendly and annoying. This kid couldn't even see that line anymore.

Friday, 6 February 2015

Some days you're the punchline

I went to the theatre on campus this evening. Saw their production of Twelfth Night, which was excellent by the way. I was feeling pretty classy as I strolled back to my office to pick up my backpack before catching the bus. Of course, that wouldn't last.

From across the street, I saw the bus coming outside my office; I knew the next one wasn't for another half an hour and I wasn't feeling too keen to hang out in my office at 10:30 at night. So I sprinted into the building into my (locked) office, nearly running some guy down in the hallway. Then I sprinted back out to the bus stop - where the bus was just about to pull away; not to be deterred by a small thing like a moving bus, I kept going and practically ran the bus down in a crosswalk. Apparently I freaked the bus driver out a bit, but he stopped for me. Success!

Needless to say, if you read another transit blog post today about some crazy girl with purple hair sprinting in and out of a building, shrieking the occasional profanity while running alongside a bus...that was probably me.