It is quite strange really to see cultural differences because in Switzerland people tend to be polite and quietly spoken in order not to bother others. That's not always the case of course but this kind of loud, intimidating behaviour is not the norm. Of course the two men (who I took to be Roms) probably couldn't have given a you-know-what anyway, but you could see that no-one wanted to get anywhere near them. Unfortunately, a couple of stops along another big guy got on with his breakfast. I have seem him before and he inevitably has an egg and tuna sandwich (lovely smell at 7.30 a.m.) but this morning he also had what looked like a slice of pizza and a large orange juice. I suppose he bothers me because of the stink. If remember correctly, you are not (or at least were not) allowed to eat on a bus in the UK in any case, but I suppose that could have changed.
Then there was a rather lovely young woman who, in the 30 minutes it took her to get to her stop, applied her full make-up and styled her hair. I was fascinated actually because she did a really expert job and transformed herself but I did wonder where my eye-liner would end up if I tried to put it on on the bus.
I suppose what I am really on about is what people find acceptable or otherwise to do in public. I mean, if I felt my toenails needed clipping on the bus is that ok? For me, that sandwich was just too smelly to inflict on people sitting right next to you, and I, personally, wouldn't dream of putting my make-up on on the bus either but that's a matter of personal choice/convenience right? In fact, our previous, horrendous HR director (she of the white porsche, power suit, high heels, and attaché case but dreadful personal hygiene) used to apply her full war paint when she was on the train and somehow I didn't think it was appropriate! As I say, I suppose it's just a question of personal choice in the end.
Anyway, yesterday's bus ride in was entirely different and, for the most part, much more fun. When I say "for the most part", I mean that the traffic was bloody awful (took me two hours to get to work) but otherwise it was quite a laugh. You see, one of my colleagues happened to hop on the same bus and, like me, can talk the hind leg off a donkey! I don't know how we got round to it (do you ever?) but we ended up talking about how each generation has a different attitude to technology. Her parents are coming over from the UK and I think her mom was having trouble with her ipad. So K said "don't worry, while you're here you can use mine". To which her mom replied that while she liked K's friends she wanted to be able to stay in touch with her own friends!
I suppose that equates to my mom - when my sister was leaving to start a new life in Denmark - telling her to buy a TV while she was still in England "cos that way you can get English television"! My kids roll their eyes at me too of course, because they were born into the internet and ipads era weren't they? Anyhow, somehow I got around to telling K that there were some good programmes on TV but sometimes on too late for me and that I had never figured out how to record them!!! I know, I know but I just didn't get it! The only thing my bloody ex left me with when he left was a bunch of instruction manuals and you know how if you're not that interested you just don't get it! - hey that was his job - he didn't have many!
But I digress. Since K had the same system as me she started explaining to me how to do it. I recognized the man sitting next to her as someone from work although I didn't know him personally but I could see him trying to stifle a giggle as we were going through it! The conversation went a bit like this, only on a bus instead of a horse.
But you know what, I didn't care how stupid I sounded because you are entitled to that with the passing of the years aren't you!
I think I mentioned previously how much I enjoy the company of older people. Well many years ago - I was just a teenager working my Saturday job in town - as we left work it started to rain. While I was standing at the bus stop waiting to go home, a "really old lady" (i.e. probably my age now) walked up to the bus stop with a large paper bag on her head! She had just been to the hairdresser's apparently and since she didn't have an umbrella she took the next best option! I thought it was great, she obviously couldn't give a you-know-what - but I think if it had been me I might have cut some eye-holes in it!
Another time, again at the same job, another "really old lady" came in to work and was complaining that she thought she had a hole in her boots because her feet were wet and cold. So one of her friends said "well if you just have to run out at lunch-time why don't you put a plastic bag on each foot - at least it'll keep you dry for a bit"!
When this lady came back from lunch she had two plastic bags on the outside of her boots! I swear she skated in like Torvill and Dean on their way to Olympic gold!