I admire a bus driver


Wake up. Freezing. No milk. I need my morning coffee. Black coffee? Result: Cranky. Late. Exam today. Deadlines, Yesterday. Missed. £200 per week. Elevator broken. Great. Runs from the top floor to the bottom. Result: Supercranky

I guess you could say these things scratched a surface. But these scratchings were a way of telling me it was going to be “one of those days”.

It was the last day of exams for shorthand. You see, writing 100 words per minute by hand is the industry standard requirement for journalists these days. Practice. That’s all it takes. Not that I know because I didn’t practice. Nor did I get 100 words per minute. Only 70 words per minute. Regret. Dissapointed. Same old story.

But something else happened today which outweighed all this and gave me hope.

As I got on my bus this morning I just KNEW my oyster card had run out of money. *BEEP BEEP*. There it was. Damn. It’s ok. I had cash.

As I rummaged through my purse trying to find the money that I would have preferred to have spent on a morning coffee that would suffice my needs, the bus driver said in her strong London accent:

“Take a seat, find your money and come back.”

So I sat down. I found my money, but by this time I was already trapped next to the window and to my great misfortune a rather large man. As I sat there I thought how easy it would be to get off the bus without paying.

I sat and watched the journeys of others. The bus driver rummaged amongst the little box she’s trapped in all day. But she gets out. Off the bus. Newspaper in her hand. She hands it to an old lady sitting at the bus stop waiting intently for her bus.

This bus may not be the bus she wanted, but this particular bus brought something better for her; a small act of kindness. The old lady gave a warm smile whilst the bus lady jumps back into her drivers seat.

Wow. Through this small act, I felt great admiration. I wondered why she is different to all the other drivers I encounter every single day. I guess she really appreciates life. Her life is truly what she makes it and just from my little observation, it was something very special.

Although it was tempted to run away without paying my bus fee, I would never do it. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t mind not paying, but to give someone my word and not keep it? That’s not right. It’s not me.

So, I approached the front of the bus. I knew she’d be shocked that actually I came back. I went to hand over the money. Through the glass she gestured at me and said “Awwww it’s okay. Don’t worry about that.” I smiled and said “Thank you”.

“It’s okay darling. You go top up your oyster with that money.”

I giggled and told her: “I hope you have an amazing day. Take care.”

We exchanged a wave as she drove past me. Then crossed the road. By this point the bus had turned around. She drove past me again and we both waved again giggled. I spent the rest of my walk to uni smiling, despite being late and cranky.

Small acts of pure kindness are little drops of heaven. Nothing can bring the soul closer to serenty.

Peace and Love.

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