There’s no divide quite as wide as the self seat allocation on any given Dublin bus. Although it almost always fills up eventually, forcing you to reluctantly start or end your day over a shoulder brush with a stranger, people will do all they can to prolong that inevitable doom. I am not implying that this indicates some devastating downfall of community in our country, nor am I suggesting that it is unacceptable to long for some uninterrupted podcast time and basic personal comfort and space during our journeys, but it is interesting to witness.
I do however fear that we may be missing out on some valuable life experiences when we sprawl our jackets over the chair beside us and sandwich our brain between two earphones. The few encounters I have had with friendly bus folk have been so heart warming, so insightful, so positive. I’ve heard stories of generosity from the homeless and successful betting tips from the punters and fashion secrets from the colourful old ladies. Therefore I am led to believe that the people we shy away from on public transport are the very people we should be privileged to sit alongside.
We as a people are a wildly interesting bunch, after all. Just think about yourself – your well lived life and your beautiful mind and your unique experience of this world that is owned by you and shared by no one – YOU are a privilege to share a journey with.
We all are. Ted Mosby once said, “if you can’t spot the crazy person on the bus, it’s you.” Congratulations. And if you do spot the crazy person, ignore the empty seats and plonk yourself down right beside them. They have a story for you, and you for them. 🚌🌈