People who call it the "loser cruiser" are people I don't want to meet on the bus.
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Melbourne, Australia is experiencing a small community outbreak of COVID-19. We are still okay here in New Zealand, but you are supposed to wear masks on the bus. Not everybody does. And though I think it's a great idea, I do forget sometimes.
This Sunday I'm giving a talk about why I like taking the bus. I could talk about buses for hours so it's lucky I'm being limited to two minutes.

When I was living in Dorset I had to take a bus to school. I didn't like waiting for the bus (my sisters had a very rude song about this as it could be pretty cold waiting at the War Memorial for the effing bus), but I did like the ride through the winding country lanes. I used to enjoy listening to music on my cheap Walkman clone whilst watching the countryside go by.
I went to a university in Canterbury, where I walked or biked everywhere, but I often visited a friend in London. We would get a TravelCard and hop on and off buses at random to see where they took us. We often ended up quite lost, having to find our way home via bus stop maps and the A-Z (this was long before Google Maps).
I was in New Jersey for my sandwich year (putzing around at Hoffmann-La Roche). I could get an express bus from Nutley to Manhattan Port Authority at 42nd Street. It wasn't the sanitised place it is now back in 1990/91, and I loved exploring the rest of the city on subway or foot (I never got the hang of the crosstown buses).
When we lived in Melbourne, we took trains and trams more than the bus, but when we lived in the Basque Country, Spain, we took the bus a lot. It was madness to drive from where we were living (Hondarribia) into San Sebastian. Plus the express took 20 minutes, was dead cheap and you could take dogs on it. Our previous Jack Russell, Billie, loved buses so much he used to try and get on them even when we weren't planning to. One time we were chatting to friends in the street, when we saw people gesticulating wildly on the bus nearby. They were pointing down at where Billie was waiting to see where the bus would take him. Luckily we extracted him before the bus left the bus stop.
Taking a bus can be pleasant if you can make time for it. I find it far more relaxing than driving as the driver does all the thinking for you. You don't have to worry about what lane you're in, which route to take or the actions of other crazy drivers. Your mind is free to wander, to read a book, or to focus on a podcast. Or just to watch the world go by. You never have to get into a road rage with anyone. Quite the reverse. I've had some excellent conversations on the bus. I even made a lifelong friend at the bus stop, waiting for the number 28 back to Lyttelton.

I find bus riding relaxing and mindful and better for my mental health.

I just wish they'd allow dogs on the bus here because I think Molly would love it too.

Ta ta for now.

PS. I know the Greyhound in the US calls itself a bus, but it isn't really. It's a coach. And I'm not a big fan of coaches. And it seemed that every Greyhound bus station I went to was in a really dodgy part of town.
PPS. Molly had her stitches out and has been to the beach a few times to celebrate.
PPPS. If you think someone else might find this interesting, please pass it on.
Copyright © 2021 Alex Hallatt's Cartoons and Writing, All rights reserved.

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