One of my regrets from my time in England is I never rode a double-decker bus. I’m not sure–I was in London enough times, although I preferred using the Underground to get around, or just walking, since I didn’t always know where I was going and walking seemed like the best way to get from one place to another, and if I saw something interesting it would be easy to stop. You’d be surprised how rarely it is on an underground train that you see something interesting and how hard it is to stop if you do. I wasn’t opposed to doing touristy things, either–I fed the pigeons in Trafalgar Square and went to the British Museum and Westminster Abbey. I was slightly intimidated by British buses. I understood that when you got on you had to tell a conductor where you were going and they’d calculate a fare based on that, and I wasn’t sure how much I’d have to pay if I got on and said, “I’ll just get off whenever I see something interesting.” And the conductor might say, “That’ll be a hundred quid and I’ll let you know when we get to Cornwall.”
Wherever it took me, though, I think riding a London double-decker would have been a hoot. So is riding Nashville buses. You’d think after all these years it would have become routine, especially since it’s how I get home from work most days, but there’s always something about riding the bus that’s different. Just last week I happened to get picked up by a double-length bus. It’s very rare that I get to ride one of these–I think I’ve only ridden one on my regular route once before, and most days the bus I ride is mostly empty anyway.
This bus was also mostly empty and it was fun to sit in the very back and consider just how long that bus was, how far I’d have to walk just to get to the front when we reached my point of disembarkation.
Since I had the bus mostly to myself I had plenty of time to consider oddities about the double-length buses, like the seats that face both ways. I know some people have very strong feelings about always wanting to face the front when riding, and I’ve even had people on trains ask if they could switch seats with me so they could have a forward-facing seat. I’m happy to do it. I’m going to spend most of the trip looking sideways out the window so it doesn’t matter to me which way we’re facing.
Make it we did, though, and I was kind of sad to see it go.