At long last the buses have arrived in George!
Due to a nasty fall, when her femur was fractured, my Mum is still unable to drive. My friend, B, has gone back to England and so I am now without a lift. But…joy of joys, the bus service has just begun in George.
I went into the bus depot to find out how I could catch a bus to Virgin Gym. I was told I could catch the bus outside the post office and it would literally drop me right there. There were quite a few of us waiting for the bus and friendly smiles and good mornings flowed. We waited for five minutes and then the Blanco bus came into sight. It was packed! In fact, I have never been on such a crowded bus. I paid for my ticket and grabbed hold of one of those curled straps hanging from the roof. There was a shout behind me. I turned and the bus conductor was saying something to a woman sitting on the front seat. She got up and the bus conductor gestured for me to take her place. I was aghast. “No, I can’t take your seat!” But she, several others AND the bus conductor were most vociferous in their demands that I was to sit there. I sat down to friendly faces. One woman asked:”Are you going to the hospital?”
“No”, I replied laughing, “I’m going to gym.” They looked doubtfully at this strange, limping girl going to gym.
It was great because the bus dropped me just outside the Spar. Jauntily I walked to Virgin Gym. I was going to like this Go George bus.
I thought back to my catching of the Mynah Bus in Durban. For fourteen years I had lived in Durban and there was a bus stop directly outside my gate. One day I decided to visit my friend, Barbs. I looked at the directions. I had to get off at Springfield road and then I could walk the rest of the way. It was all quite simple and easy. Except for one thing. I am now hopeless at remembering names. I needed to tell the bus driver where I wanted to be dropped off. How was I going to remember the name ‘Springfield’. Okay, break the name up into two words: spring and field. How to remember spring? Think of rabbits hopping. That will give you: spring. Field: think of a lush meadow. So – rabbits hopping and a lush meadow gives you: spring and field. Springfield!
To be perfectly honest, I was quite impressed with my little reminder. ‘Ha, there’s no stopping you, Girl!’ I thought as I locked my flat and headed for the bus stop. When the bus arrived, I got my money out as I climbed on. The bus driver looked utterly bored. I gave him a dazzling smile and said: “Please may I have one ticket to…to…May I have one ticket to…” The name was gone. It had vanished. But I was prepared for such a situation. I had to think of rabbits. Yes, that was right. And a green meadow. Were the rabbits meant to be in the green meadow? Hmmmm, yes, probably. I mean, rabbits usually are, aren’t they. Well, what word did that give me? Rabbits in a green meadow gave me…? Oh, Shytenhauzen!
I looked at the impatient bus driver and I said: “Do you know that I have forgotten where I want you to drop me.”
A blank look.
“I did think of a way to remind myself. I thought of two images. The first was an image of rabbits hopping. The second image was of a luscious green meadow. Any…ah, well…any suggestions?”
The bus driver looked at me as if I had gone stark raving mad. Then he leaned forward and said in a low voice: “Ma’am….”
“You can help me, I knew it! What is it you are going to suggest, Sir?”
He leaned even closer and I leaned towards him, as if he had a great secret to impart.
“R2.50”, he said in a lowered tone.
“What was that?” I asked not believing my ears.
“R2.50!” he bellowed. Hurriedly I paid him his bus fare and scuttled to my place. I still had no idea what that blasted road was called.
Three kilometres on I looked out the window and gave a little squeal. ” There it is! The signpost saying Springfield road!”
I rang the bell and as I was getting off the bus, I said to the bus driver: “You see, rabbits hopping and a green meadow. Springfield!”
The bus driver looked at me as if I had not one nut but several very loose and rolling around. The doors clanged shut and he drove off shaking his head and muttering.
I thank the Lord that I don’t have to tell the bus driver where I’m going in George. Can you imagine what images I would come up with for: Virgin Gym!!!