The Anonymous Widower

Do I Look Decrepit?

When I’m carrying my shopping back from the Angel on the bus, I sometimes get offered a seat, but usually I choose my bus with plenty of empty space.

Yesterday though, I was getting a 141 towards London Bridge, when I was offered a seat by a lady who was probably ten years older than me!

She was also wearing a burkha, which made be a bit embarrassed.  Especially, as there were plenty of empty seats towards the back of the bus.

As I’ve said before, everybody is getting very polite on London’s buses!

The incident also got me thinking about why London buses seem to a more polite place, than others like Cambridge, where I’ve ridden the buses quite a few times.

I put it down to one of three things.

London’s buses always have at least two doors, which has two major affects.  It separates those getting into the bus from those getting out and it also tends to keep low-life away from the driver. This calms down everybody!

The drivers seem to like a comment and often quip something back, adding to the positive side of the travel experience. I do wonder too, that because of London’s excellent mapping, that drivers do a lot less to sort out lost souls, so they have time to be pleasant.

And then of course London buses are painted bright red! Is it a warning to behave?

June 30, 2013 Posted by | Transport | , | Leave a comment

The Southern Way To Do PR

I flew to Geneva from Gatwick on easyJet on an early afternoon flight, as that way, I got to have a good lunch in Jamie’s Italian in the North Terminal. I always prefer to arrive in a strange place well fed, as I can’t be sure of the food I can get there.

To get to Gatwick, I generally go using the Overground to Clapham Junction and then get one of the many trains to the airport, from there.

Together with quite a few other passengers, I piled into one of Southern’s Class 377 trains.  I’ve written about these trains before, and Second Class is so good, I never bother with First. At £6.85 from Clapham Junction to Gatwick, it’s definitely good value, especially as they are well-tabled trains.

But we all piled into a First Class section of the train!

Before the first stop at East Croydon, this was discovered by the ticket collector, who very politely asked us to move on, or buy a simple upgrade. A few jokes were exchanged and I think we all moved, although one guy did buy the upgrade.

I never saw the ticket collector again.

I do wonder though, whether with these trains, the comfort in Second Class is not perceptibly below that in First. The only difference is you have a big table in First and a few signs.

The inspector had handled the situation impeccably and he had warned us about revenue protection officers, who aren’t so pleasant.

I suspect that the whole incident, got Southern a few more returning customers.

May 20, 2013 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 1 Comment

The Kids Are Alright

I was travelling home on a bus last night at about seven, sitting minding my own business, when a seventeen-year-old or so kid in front, turned to me and asked very politely if he could borrow a pen. As I always carry two for my Sudoku solving, I handed him one.

A couple of minutes later he returned it and moved himself and his bags to the four empty seats next to me.  We chatted about the ephemera of life like football and phones, for the rest of my journey home and he politely wished me a good evening.

If this had been an unusual occurrence, it wouldn’t be worth reporting, but it seems that hardly a day goes buy without a similar experience. As an example, I’ve lost count of the number of times, I’ve had a reverse argument with kids, be they black or white, male or female, about who gets on the bus first.

It does seem that the Polite Society is alive and well! Certainly on the buses of East London.

December 23, 2012 Posted by | Sport, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

A Too Polite Society

There were about six of us at the bus stop this morning waiting for a bus, in a rather loose queue.

I wanted a 38 or 56 and one duly turned up.

However, we were all being so polite about who should go first and not pushing in, that the driver shut the doors and pushed off. It didn’t matter as after a laugh about what happened, another 38 arrived and two of us got on.

October 6, 2012 Posted by | Transport | , | 2 Comments

Modesty, Manners And Fair Play

The Evening Standard is London’s newspaper, but it hasn’t always been totally behind the Olympics. However, in this article, Nick Curtis, thinks we got it right.

I do too!

Crime and health problems were down and I have commented how everybody has been talking. Certainly, the police have been friendlier too!

Only time will tell, if this is the correct impression. But talking to Olympic tourists generally confirmed we’d got it right.

Roll on the Paralympics! And the world aThletic Championships in 2017!

August 24, 2012 Posted by | News | , , , | 4 Comments