Buses and their content

Buses.
Sometimes you seem them passing by without anyone, sometimes they’re even more filled with people than H&M at the first day of sales. Living where I live, I don’t often have to use buses, nor trains. As a real Flemish girl, I just go by bike. Or by car, if I find a driver. But sometimes, buses are way easier. When my mother and I go shopping in Antwerp, for example, we refuse to go by car. Parking isn’t really a cheap hobby… And driving isn’t either.

A really Flemish bus

If you’re lucky, it can be fun to be on a bus. This time, we got in a conversation with a very nice dude (if you read this, dude, hi!). It was really fun talking to him. It’s amusing how many things you tell each other, but when leaving the bus, you don’t even know each other’s name. And still, by now, we know what he’s studying, what he has done already, to which school he went, his opinion on euthanasia and everything.

A small sidenote: we went shopping, but in the end, we returned home with only a Mucha calendar. Pathetic.

On our way back, I’ve been busy with listening to other people’s conversations. There were two girls who were saying stuff like ‘I’ll miss our week’, ‘Maybe we’ll be living together next year!’ and everything. Later on, one of them left the bus and the other had a phone call.

“Hi girl!” (in English!)
“…”
“Hi boy!”
“…”
“Yes.”
“…”
“Yes.”
“…”
“Stuh.” (No clue at all what she meant by that.)
“…”
“Yes.”
“…”
“Stuh.”
“…”
“Woohoohooo!”
“…”
“Yes.”
“…”
“Woohoohoo!”
And so on.

I always try to guess what’s going on. But sometimes, you don’t have to guess. Once, there was a woman in the same bus as us, talking very loudly about her being lesbian. It was like everyone had to know.
“One of those girls immediately knew! That was so weird! SHe just knew it and I hadn’t told her! Did you expect me to be like this?”
The friend answered more silently: “No no, not really.”
“Yes, what I thought! People sometimes just know it, that’s weird!”
During this monologue, the friend murmured something every now and then, but her investment to the conversation was really small.

Sometimes, I’m too busy listening to other people’s conversations. Than I try to formulate a sentence while listening to the woman behind me (“He can arrange it for forty euros! Yes! I’ll call her to tell her!”), and then I go like: “Yes, I find it… rather… good… I think…”, “Maybe… you might… be… right.” My sentences fail because of my lack of concentration. I just feel the urge to follow up everything happening in other people’s lives. And if I don’t feel that urge, I don’t always have a choice… “YES HE CAN DO IT FOR FORTY EUROS. FORTY. YES. I’LL CALL HIM BACK THEN, OKAY?”

Buses.
Interesting places for sure…

Mozzarella and Tomatoes 1: Sleepless in Seats

I’m back and I really want to thank you all for your enthusiasm!! I’ve only been able to read your comments today, but it makes me smile that you are such nice people. I like you all!

So, I’m back and exhausted. Seriously, we had to wake up at 7 every day, sometimes 6.30, and 12 o’clock was mostly the hour of going to sleep, if it weren’t any later. Also, never even consider sleeping on a bus. Welcome to part 1 of ‘Mozzarella and Tomatoes’!
Today, I’ll tell you about our bus trips. Use Google Maps if you’d like to know how far away Italy is from Belgium, but believe me: when driving to Pisa, you spend a lot of time in your tiny bus seat. Bus seats are made for sitting, but not for sleeping. You can lay them back, but only if the ones sitting behind you agree. Otherwise you might crush their knees, which won’t improve the atmosphere. I’ve never traveled with a bus like this time, so it were my friends who told me how to organise sleeping: one should sleep on the ground, the other one should sleep on the seats.

Now that doesn’t sound to difficult. Nor comfortable actually. My friends and I are (close to) 1m80, so that was serious folding before we could actually lie down… And do not consider moving as soon as you lie down! There simply no chance to do that. Also, if you’re lying on the seats and you are unable to fold you knees enough, there is but one thing to do: stretch them out and use other seats to let them lie on. My feet have used other seats more than the floor or my own seat. But lengthy legs demand space, room, wideness, which wasn’t available at all. I wasn’t the only one. We should have taken a picture, because there were just blankets and bags and legs everywhere. We were like a puzzle of sleeping people. ‘Sleeping’. When I woke up at approximately 4 a.m. because of the most terrible earache I’ve ever had, I wasn’t the only one who wasn’t sleeping. It was like everywone was awake. But when lifting my head at 8 a.m., I saw everyone sleeping like they were just knock-out due to the previous sleepless hours.

You can also use other people to lean on, something I did as well (with their approvement). You have to help each other and respect each other’s place, for everyone’s sake. That also means that you can’t just leave the bus. When you want to go outside, you have to act like Tarzan and you have to use the handrails of the seats as stepping stones. Otherwise you’ll probably step on someone’s face, hidden beneath a blanket. Or you step on a bag and you’ll break the souvenirs. There is no other way than using your flexibility!

Another thing that was quite bothering, was the radio playing above our heads. The on/off button didn’t work, the horror, the horror… And we passed a lot of tunnels, which caused an annoying rush ever time… When we woke up in the middle of the night because the drivers changed, we heard the radio playing one very cheery melody. You don’t want cheery melodies when you are fed up. So the guy sitting in front of us said: “Put off that radio.” “Impossible”, said the guy behind us. “Ram” was the very professional advice then. When you are exhausted an in terrible need of sleep, that answer is too funny to handle.

And can you imagine a qeue of girls running through the rain because they have to go to the toilet so desperately? If yes, then you know why I laughed so ahrd at that point. You see, this trip has given me loads of subjects to talk about. It was amazing and I cannot wait to share it all with you!