Some things I've learned....

(1) An Engineer can do with 10 cent what a fool can do with a Euro.

(2) "Puff" - unimportant; insignificant; unworthy of study by engineering students; waste of time

(3) It's better to keep your mouth shut and let people think you're stupid than to open it and prove them right!

(4) Blockwork people and concrete people can never work on the same site... Apparently they don't like each other....

(5) It's official; I'm fantastic!

Wednesday 24 October 2007

The Trials and Tribulations......

....of riding the bus!

Yes folks, this has been lying under my skin for some time now and I feel I must address the issue. You will recall my "Grinds My Gears!! - Issue 3":

"This isn't so much a gripe at the company, it's more the people than anything else. What particularly annoys me is when people, with money, queue in the ticket line, and hold up everyone in the ticket line who actually has a ticket. That's part of the point of the ticket, so you can get on faster. It's invisible to the naked eye as they conceal their change in their hands, just as easily as one could conceal a ticket, and suddenly, when you're the guy behind them, they stop moving and you realise that they are waiting for a break in the other goddamn queue!!!

Another thing that I need to address is people with headphones. Now I use headphones on the bus aswell, but what I'm on about is those who have the volume up to the max, so you can hear what they are listening to and should they sit beside you, the only way you can indicate that you want to get off is by lifting your bag up off the floor and leaning to one side. God help those who have no bag!!!

That's another thing...bags! I carry one, sometimes two bags, depending on the day, with me on the bus. Should I be sitting down I'll rest one on my knees, the other at my feet, not like some who take up the whole seat with their bags or their change purses. Last week for instance, a woman got on with what could only be a full weeks shopping and casually occupied the whole side row on the left near the front of the bus (this was one of the older buses with two doors). Like what the fuck? That's what the baggage hold is for!

One more thing has got to be people that brings unfolded buggies onto the bus when the bus is already crammed with people like a tin of sardines. This has only become an issue since the 'buggy/wheelchair' space was introduced. Before that people had no problem folding up the buggy. But not now. By leaving the buggy open, they use up a significant portion of quality standing space. If they only folded it, and put it on the luggage rack, I'm sure someone would quite happily give up their seat for the mother/father with the child.

All of these issues depend greatly on what bus route you get and where you get it from. If you want to experience any of these problems just get one of the Lucan buses from Westmoreland Street, or if you want to experience all of these problems, try (and I mean TRY!) to get the 25A from Heuston Station."

Further issues have come to my attention since that post. For instance, have you ever gotten the bus in the morning. I mean the early morning, sunrise almost? Well I do, 3 out of 5 days in the week in fact, and what is common about all mornings? They're cold! And what are the buses like when you get on? Roasting!!!!!!! Yes we would all say that the inital transition from "freezing my balls off" cold to a nice warmth is appreciated, but this sensation is temporarily relieving at best. No sooner than you are on the bus the heat will begin to swelter. Not helped by the fact that the bus is crammed full, people standing like sardines in a tin. And do you think someone would open a window. Of course not, it's too embarrassing to open a window! The result being that the windows on the bus fog up, there's the repetitive wiping of sweat off foreheads with already sweat-drenched sleeves and tissues and people just get agitated!

A follow-up to the over crowding on buses is conversation. Fact: people are nosey. Fact: people will listen to what you have to say. Fact: having a conversation on the bus is one of the worst things you can do! It's perfectly fine to chat when the bus is sparsely full, when there's a gap of a least one empty seat between yourself and the person sitting beside you who you're talking to and the next nearest person on the bus. However, when the bus is crammed like it can be in the mornings and evenings, conversation is impossible. Once myself and a friend were making a joke about something, and the person behind laughed!!! One of the trickiest things is with earphones, people can pretend to have them on and innocent conversationalists will sit beside them thinking they can't hear what they're saying. BEWARE of these people. The same goes for talking on the phone, but it's made worse by the fact that you can't whisper because in my experience the only people who ring me whilst I'm on the bus are lacking in the acute hearing department. Talking whilst standing is worse, as more often that not there will be people literally standing either in your face or in between the person you are trying to talk to, this is irritating for both communicating parties involved.

As you can see from the previous post, I mentioned the issue of buggies. In recent weeks, I've been privy to the driver letting more than one buggy onto the bus. As I said, one buggy is bad enough, depriving us more unfortunate standing passengers to stand in a more comfortable and resulting less blocking and less getting-in-the-way-of-people-trying-to-get-off-the-bus-area. The thing is, that area is designed to function for only one! So when two are let on what happens?? The buggies have to be turned sideways meaning that they are now protruding onto the gangway thus further pissing off standing passengers.

This brings me onto the overcrowding situation on buses. Anyone who has travelled on buses during rush hours know what I'm talking about. There's a line between packed (but comfortably packed where people have adequate standing space and can still access the exit within reason) and then PACKED, spelt with a capital please-get-your-hands-off-my-ass. And that's just the problem. When the bus is literally that packed, it leaves you in very uncomfortable and somewhat embarrassing situations. It is impossible for you to keep both your hands off someone when they are packed into your sides. On several occasions I've had women's breasts literally squeezed into my back or chest just so they can get out of the way to let someone behind them out (not that I'm complaining for my sake, more for theirs), or more often than not I find my genitals crushed against the railings as I pray to high heaven that everyone will get off at Liffey Valley. In fairness some bus drivers will recognise the discomfort of their passengers and will either not stop or let people out after or before the stop they want to get off.

This brings me onto the issue of correct standing procedures:

Appropriate Standing Areas are:
  • The buggy/wheelchair zone

Oh wait...that's it!!!! Unless the bus is crammed full you should never stand anywhere else other than the buggy zone. Only today getting on the 46A did one woman get on, and then decided to stand right at the baggage railings, making it inconvenient for all incoming passengers. Furthermore, you should never stand past the back railing of the buggy zone, people need to be able to get out of their seats to get off. And stay the hell off the stairs, it gives the driver the illusion that he can fit more people on than he can, and then when people from upstairs try to get off they have to wait for all the maggots from the stairs to squeeze into any crevices that exist down below just so the people from upstairs can get off. They really need to install some kindof inflatable slide or roof accessed escape ladder in those situation.

Finally, I'd like to address the issue of student tickets. Recently I was threatened with a fine for not possessing adequate student ID when using a Student Rambler Ticket, in other words, Dublin Bus will only accept Student ID from themselves which costs money, because other colleges and Third Level Institutes cards are invalid. I cannot understand why they need to be so anal about it. Surely student ID is adequate enough to prove that you are in fact A STUDENT!

I'm lead to believe that travelling on the Luas can be equally as dangerous and life threatening, so if I could be given some insight into this I'd appreciate it. I'm also aware that chivalry on the Luas seems to be lacking somewhat more so than on the bus. LET A PREGNANT OR ELDERLY PERSON SIT THE FUCK DOWN PLEASE!!!!

Oh, and don't forget the breast feeding story:

" Wolfy - "You know what really grinds my gears (thanx damo, lol) Breast feeding in public. It's just not right. If i got half naked in public I think a few people would have a problem with it. So far I've heard maybe one or two really shit points in favour of it. First: "But it's a beautiful thing." Hell i agree with that one. It is a beautiful thing, but I don't wanna see a fuckin baby attached to it. Second: "But it's natural" Yeah so is taking a shit but I don't think I'd be allowed to drop my cacks in the middle of a shopping centre and take a dump. Erm that's all I got right now. But you get the point. It's just not on."

In my case, I was sitting on the inside seat on the left hand side facing the forward direction of the bus. Two Eastern European women got on and one sat beside me, the other in front of me. Both were carrying young children. At a particular point the child beside me started crying, and what did the mother do to shut him up??? She plopped out here left breast (the one nearest me of course) and started feeding the child. She didn't even try to conceal it through her jacket, instead right out in front of me. To make matters worse the woman in front seemed to think it was feeding time aswell! No doubt the person beside her felt just as uncomfortable as I did. The icing on the cake was that my stop was coming up in a few minutes!! I kept thinking about how I was going to get her to move. But thankfully the child had enough just in time and I was able to escape."

~The Damo


Catherine said...

Wow. PERFECT TIMING. Agh. I just had the shittiest bus experience. An hour and a half to get from O'Connell street to Drimnagh. AN HOUR AND A HALF! We were stuck on the South Circular Road for 40 minutes, then we were all ordered off the bus and told to get on another. I already was running late....

Yay for the glorious return of GMG. :)

Ann Marie said...

I disagree with some of this, like the buggy wheelchair area thing. But sure I plan on doing my own about train and luas in the next few days.

Damien Kelly said...

What do you mean by disagree???
All of it is fact like, I'm not suggesting that the buggy zone shouldnt be there, I'm making fun of the fact that its made itself the biggest inconvenience when the bus is packed.

I don't think there's anything there that is "invalid" or anything, afterall it is written from my own experience...

Ann Marie said...

I never said any of it was invalid. Some of it is just different in my experience, like the luas being worse for giving up seats than the bus.

Damien Kelly said...

Oh absolutely, everyday in the Metro there's a story on the letter page about a lack of chivalry, thats what my capital lettered bellowing was about ;)