It is pretty rare that I catch a local bus. But just the other day, I had more to do with them in 24 hours than I would normally do in 365 days.
I got stranded at work without a vehicle. I was trying to figure out how to get home to get a vehicle when a bus – the right one – pulled up in front of me. I pulled out my credit card and was told very politely by a female driver that if I didn’t have the go card, there was no way to pay. She told me she didn’t mind taking the polite ones and ‘you can stay on’, but there must be something wrong with our payment platform.
I got home and picked my car up and went back to work. That afternoon, when I got home again, I realised I needed fuel. So, I decided to slip up the road to get some – dressed in a lime-green Bintang singlet, shorts and no shoes, as it was just a short trip up the road (I agree 66-year-old men that look like me should not be seen in public in a singlet).
In south Wurtulla, the traffic was blocked in both lanes. So, I crept around the side, got to the front and saw a bloke about my age standing in the middle of the road, blocking both lanes, with his arms spread like a biblical character parting the Red Sea. In one lane was a bus, and in the other was a young lady in a small white car. She was blowing the horn and crying. I drove off but, about 100 metres later, I got the guilts – not only about the girl but also the bus driver. So, I walked back. As I got there, the girl drove around him and sped off. That left this guy banging on the bus windscreen, wanting to get let in. The driver was telling him he was ringing the police and I am thinking. ‘What the hell am I doing?’.
I started talking to him about why he was doing that, with the two lanes still blocked. I was wondering how I was going to shift him when I looked over my shoulder. The girl had come running back from her car, fist cocked and a ‘not happy, Jan’ look on her face that did the job for me with no damage done.
She actually scared both of us off the road. The traffic then flowed, with one guy yelling out as he went past: “They will run you over in Wurtulla”. I think him and I both learnt a valuable lesson and will both stay off the road in future.