Ankh-Morpork: City Of Love

, , , , , , | Friendly | October 15, 2019

(I’m waiting for my train, reading a book and giggle-snorting about it. An old lady is sitting on the other end of the bench.)

Old Lady: “Excuse me, dear, but what are you reading?”

(I hold up the book so she can see the cover, which says, “TERRY PRATCHETT – FEET OF CLAY,” and has cover art featuring a spooky bat and an angry-looking, red-eyed golem holding a giant cleaver striding out of an inferno toward a dwarf, a swordswoman, and a troll hand-wielding a siege weapon.)

Old Lady: *triumphantly* “Ah! A romance novel!”

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A Rapid Mouth On Rapid Transit

, , , , , | Right | September 28, 2019

(My husband and I are on the bus today, heading home from the nearby train station. I have a mobility issue and use a cane, so we sit in the two front handicapped seats. Our driver is clearly training, so there is a supervisor with her. As we approach a stop, we see another bus pulled off to the side, with three police cars and the passengers standing at the side of the road. Our bus stops, the supervisor gets off, and passengers pile on. It’s a small bus, so it fills right up. No big deal. The supervisor is talking to the police officers and the driver is waiting for him. Then, from behind me I hear a woman.)

Passenger: “Let’s gooooo! Why aren’t we mooooving?!”

Driver: *very nicely* “We have to wait for the other staff member to get back on. He’s just talking to the police.”

(My husband and I start chatting with the driver. I tell her the route is normally “very tame” and this stuff never happens. This is her first time driving this route. Less than one minute later, the same woman starts again:)

Passenger: “It’s taken an hour to come from [Street]! I have an appointment! YOU JUST CAN’T TRUST TRANSIT!” 

(We’re actually ON the Avenue she’s talking about, so I don’t entirely understand what she’s saying, but I say nothing. I’m already peeved, thinking I’m going to have to listen to this entitled woman for however long we sit here, but I say nothing. Sixty seconds later she starts again:)

Passenger:Why can’t we leave him here with the cops and go! I HAVE AN APPOINTMENT!”

(And this is when I get… testy.)

Me: “We can’t go because we’re waiting for the supervisor to get back on the bus! That’s why we can’t leave!”

Passenger: “Well, there’s no need to be snippy about it! I have to—”

Me: “We’re all in the same position as you so there’s no point in complaining about something that’s completely beyond your control.”

(The mouthy woman shuts up and we sit in silence. Less than one minute later, the supervisor comes back on the bus. It turns out that another passenger on the stopped bus punched a woman sitting in the front — handicapped — seat and the supervisor was a witness and had to talk to the officers. The offending passenger was arrested. There are sounds of surprise from the people on the bus as the supervisor explains.)

Passenger: “Well, I didn’t know!” 

Me: “You were on that bus! Maybe if you’d shut your mouth you’d know.” 

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Keep Driving East And Eventually, It Will!

, , , , , | Working | September 17, 2019

(I travel pretty much everywhere in my city by bus and it is usually easy to tell who the tourists are as they often ask the divers for specific stops. The drivers don’t always appreciate having to be a tour guide for these folks.)

Tourist: “Where is the stop for Chinatown?”

Driver: “You get off when it looks like China.”

Tourist: “Yes, but what is the specific stop?”

Driver: “You get off when it looks like China!”

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Youth Is Wasted On The Young

, , , , | Friendly | September 2, 2019

(I’m riding on a tram opposite a mother and two teenage daughters. They are babbling about school and how long it takes.)

Teen: *with all the drama a girl that age can bring* “Fifteen years going to school? That really ruins your life.”

Me: “Honey, enjoy. After that, you need to work for 45 years. That is three times as much.”

Teen: *panicky* “And when is it time to enjoy life?”

(Her mother couldn’t contain her laughter anymore. Neither could I.)

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Making A Graceful Exit… Eventually

, , , , , | Hopeless | August 5, 2019

(I’m the bad customer in this story. I drop my fare card after passing through the subway gantry, so when I reach my destination, I have to talk to the station staff. I pay my fare in cash on the spot so he lets me through, and they call to my entry station to ask them if they have found my card. Luckily, it was in a distinctive cardholder, and they are able to find it. That evening on the way home, I stop at the office to collect my card. The next morning, I have a bout of asthma, so I’m running slightly late. When I reach the station, I try to use the card, only to be told “exit error.” The card was used for an entry yesterday, but not an exit. I have to talk to the station staff.)

Me: “I dropped my card yesterday after tapping in.”

Staff: “Yes, it’s showing that you tapped in, but did not exit.”

Me: “Yes, but I collected my card from the office here yesterday evening. They knew that I’d dropped it; why didn’t they reset the card?”

Staff: “Oh, perhaps it was a different staff member who found the card.”

Me: “But when I collected the card in the evening, I had to explain the situation again. The staff member who passed me the card could have done it then.”

Staff: “Okay, I’ll do it now.”

Me: “I’m going to be late.” *panicking by this point*

Staff: *scanning the card* “Okay, so when you reached [Destination] did you pay your fare?”

Me: “Yes, I paid the fare in cash. You can call the station and check with [Staff] who helped me yesterday.”

Staff: “Do you have the receipt?”

(I try to search but I can’t find it.)

Me: “I don’t think I kept it.” *panicking*

Staff: “Okay, but I know there’s no way you could have gotten out unless you’d paid. Since you’re standing here and not stuck at [Destination], I’ll reset your card and refund the charge on your card.”

Me: *relieved* “Thank you!” *realises that he is trying to make me feel better with a joke*

(I get to work on time, thanks to his quick thinking. Later, I find the receipt, which fell to the bottom of my bag. On the way back a few days later, I see him on the night shift. I stop by to apologise.)

Me: “Hi. Do you remember me? I was the girl who dropped my card and was not able to tap in the next day. I found my receipt, and I wasn’t late to work, thanks to your able assistance.”

Staff: “That’s great. Yeah, I remember you. I’m glad you made it to work on time.”

Me: “I’m sorry if I was impatient the other day. It wasn’t that I was upset with you. I had a bout of asthma before that, so I was running late for work. I would usually be there in plenty of time.”

Staff: “No wonder you were in such a panic. I could see you were just frazzled and in a big rush. I didn’t take it personally. But it’s nice you stopped by to say thanks. I appreciate it.” 

(He looked quite happy. Thank you, friendly station guy, for helping me, keeping your cool when I was upset, and trying to make me feel better with a joke!)

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