Buses. I used to have a big phobia of them. I spent a lot of my teenage years in my hometown walking 40 minutes to the centre to avoid having to take them. When I moved to London I found them extremely awkward, but I needed them to get around so I had to get used to them.
Jump forward 6 ½ years and our relationship has improved but I still find them awkward. I think the oyster card system makes it a lot easier. If the bus is quite empty I breathe a sigh of relief. If it’s quite busy then I squirm a little. I usually try to get a seat by the window on the top deck. I don’t like sitting on the lower deck as it is usually busier, but it is better in case of emergencies. Sometimes my brain is too slow to register and I keep walking down the bus as I expect to see two empty seats, but often there isn’t, so then I have to find someone to sit next to. Someone who doesn’t have their stuff all over in the seat in a ‘don’t sit next to me manner’, as I don’t like asking them to move their stuff. However today my brain was slow and I ended up sitting next to someone who had their wallet on their seat so I just said sorry as I sat down. The top deck is mainly men sitting next to the windows so I sit down next to a woman. I don’t like sitting at the far end of the bus though I will if there is a seat by the window, but I have no balance and worry about knocking into people on my way to get off of the bus in case I fall into them or something, especially if I have a bag, but I don’t want to wait until the bus stops as I don’t want to hold up people.
At the next stop the man in front gets off the bus, so I move into his empty seat. I feel bad moving as will the person feel offended that I was so quick to move or will they just appreciate having the space? If I had stayed and their stop was before mine would I stand up to let them pass, which I dislike as I have no balance and if you have a bag it can be awkward, or will I turn to the side and let them pass which they might not like as it can be a bit too intimate.
I take a picture of myself on the phone as I am thinking about this story, I take another one. The bus is moving so they are blurry and I worry that someone will see me taking them – especially the woman behind.
After a couple of stops I see someone getting off the bus with the same colour as the woman that I was initially sat next to. It’s a man. I look behind me to see if it was the same person. It was. I feel bad that I thought that it was a woman, though to be fair I didn’t look at them for very long and they had their head down.
We are stopped and now he isn’t behind me, so I turn the brightness down on my phone to 0 as there is a person to my right on the other side of the aisle and I take some better pictures of myself to illustrate this story. I take 4 as I am not concentrating on the photos and more on what is happening around me.
I worry that most of the pictures I am using to illustrate these stories are
mainly self-portraits taken on public transport.