I can’t get over how organised the bus system is here. After a year with the SF Muni and a good while trolling the NYC subway, it boggles my mind.
Every morning/evening, there is a queue at the bus stop. An actual queue. People are politely lined up while they wait for the bus to arrive. When the bus shows up, they wait politely until everyone getting off has filed out in an orderly manner before getting on themselves. If it isn’t their bus, they politely step out of the queue and allow others to move ahead of them. A chorus of polite “pardon mes” and “thank yous” follows.
Once on the bus, it’s a very civilized game of musical chairs at each stop. People get up and get off and all the seats are taken. People don’t stay standing just because they don’t want to sit next to someone strange. The way the buses are built, there isn’t really any room for standing, especially on the double-deckers we ride every day.
No one sits in the “priority seats” unless there aren’t any other seats available.
It’s so strange. I always knew that the brits were good at queueing, but I was STUNNED to see people acutally lining up at the bus stop and filing in, instead of the mad rush of elbows and impolite polite insistence that you find in the US. It’s quite nice, actually.
In other news – less than two weeks left here and I still never want to leave.