These days, I take pride in claiming that I drive pretty well. I drive long distances, about some 40-50 miles at a stretch without getting a backache. I no longer fret at the thought that this might be my last day of life since I am driving. I no longer have to dress up in layers for the cold because I don’t have to wait outside for a bus. I save a lot of time, do not have to figure out bus routes and timings. All I do is feed my address into a GPS. This is what I call a hassle free life.
However, last week, I decided to take the bus for a conference in downtown. Downtown is pretty bus-sable from my place, and I would not have to go round and round in circles trying to find parking. I needed to start much earlier and have some extra time because I’d have to wait for the bus. It was getting cooler and I was already dressed in layers. I fidgeted through my hand bag, realizing I had forgotten my music player somewhere. I somehow found a book from the innards of my bag and tried to busy myself with it.
I cherished my one hour journey, realising how much I have missed taking the bus. For one, the bus stopped and picked up so many different people, dressed differently, speaking different languages. Some listened to music, some read a book, and some conversed. I had totally forgotten how much I liked sitting in a corner and observing people, what they did, what they said, where they got up from and where they got down. The bus stopped at so many places, giving me a chance to observe all the street signs and the shops and the people, sitting comfortably and without the tension of looking straight and driving safely. It was a joy ride.
Driving a car might be comfortable and time saving, but I’d prefer the bus any day over a car. It is an eventful life, watching and talking to people, or simply sitting quietly and watching the world go by you. The noise, the smell and the sounds, the traffic, the joy of sitting at a height and watching the world is stimulating to the senses. Some are headed for the office, some for schools. Suddenly I felt more social, participating in the things around me, smiling at the lady beside me, watching the person boarding the bus. By the time I got off the bus, I was smiling to myself. The hustle and bustle around me had energized me.
Slowly you get used to the comforts of a car and forget the eventful journeys while taking the public transportation. For me, I still like to take the bus or the train every now and then. Driving alone is boring. Riding with the world is so much fun.