Moments of Rural Humiliation

November 24, 2010

Me: Single to Bigtown*

Bus Driver: Pardon

Me: Bigtown

Bus Driver: Pardon?

Me: (slowly and clearly) Single to Bigtown

Bus Driver: Pardon?

Standoff. I mean, this bus only really goes to Bigtown. How much more scottishly do I have to try and say it?

Bus Driver: You mean, “single to Bigtown, please”

Me: Aargh, sorry. I used to live in London, that’s the problem

Bus Driver: That’s nae excuse.

I was even more mortified because I now can’t remember whether I’ve said ‘please’ or not in the past; he’s never mentioned it before. Possibly it’s been bugging him for the last few months and he’s only cracked now. Or possibly it’s because I’ve now taken the bus enough times – about half-a-dozen trips – that I’m sufficiently familiar to be teased about my London ways.

Still, I wasn’t the only one getting grief on this trip. The bus was in the process of sailing through Intervening Village when he slammed on his brakes, backed up to the crossroads and sat waiting while an old biddy came not-particularly hurrying up the side road to the stop. He then reminded her briskly of the timetable before letting her on so we could all set off again.  I’d like to see that happen in a bus in London. But then, in London there’d be another bus along in a minute, as opposed to in a couple of hours as happens here…

*Obviously I didn’t actually say ‘Bigtown’.