I have used the Citi Hoppa consistently for the last three weeks. While I would prefer to have my own car, I know that this is not going to happen any time soon. I still have a few years of public service transport to ‘enjoy’. I’m not complaining. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed travelling on these buses. I don’t carry a book to read while I’m on the bus. I rarely use my phone either (Wouldn’t want to give anyone an opportunity to trail me afterwards- not that the phone is any good, but you never know).
I use the time I’m on the bus to observe the people seated around me, and the people outside on the road. It’s a perfect opportunity to see people without giving them the chance to put their guards up. They’re in their natural environments, and if you’re keen enough, you’ll see them at their best and at their worst.
I have seen teenagers madly ‘in love’, holding each other tightly, making out, oblivious to the fact that the passengers seated around them are old enough to be their grandparents. And I have admired them for their bravery, and their lack of concern for what anyone else would think.
I have sat next to people who don’t care if you’re only sitting on one half of your seat. They have mastered the art of sitting on more than one seat, while only paying their own fare. I have sat next to some of the prettiest ladies I have ever seen, and the nervousness that courses throughout my body during that brief period of time that our paths have crossed has made me sorely embarrassed. I remember breathing in the sweetly scented perfume of a shockingly beautiful woman for the better part of two hours. Best two hours I’ve ever spent on a public service vehicle, if you ask me.
I have seen people hard at work, sweating in the hot sun, doing their level best to make ends meet. I have seen members of the upper middle class and the elite, in their fancy European cars, with sunglasses on their faces, holding tablets and expensive smartphones. And I have seen policemen and women, looking flustered and very close to self combustion.
I have slept on these buses, with my mouth wide open, without a care in the world. Luckily for me, I haven’t stooped so low as to actually drool next to a stranger. Not yet anyway.
I have, at times, struck up conversations with complete strangers, and the time is soon coming when I will have the courage to say ‘Hi’ to a beautiful girl. Who knows? I’ve been told love finds you in the oddest of places.
But most of all, I have enjoyed the feeling of being on the road. I have welcomed the delicious ache of tiredness that overwhelms my body when I finally make it home. I have cherished the glimpses into the lives of other human beings that I have gotten while on the Citi Hoppa.
That being said, I’d still prefer to have my own car!