I love the underground, but I do love the red busses too. It’s nice to see the city from above the ground sometimes. I took a friday-evening-bus back home via Trafalgar Square, from Oxford Street. The bus was nearly empty. The bus driver was a friendly guy, and happy to make a conversation. Normally not allowed mind you (“Do not speak to the driver while driving”) but tonight it was OK. He started it himself.
“They drive like nutheads those tourist busses!” he shouted.
I stood up and went up to the front of the bus, as this made talking a bit easier. We talked about the weather, about the busy traffic, and about how it was like being a busdriver in London.
There was a diversion on Oxford Street so we went right into Regent street in the direction of Piccadilly Circus.
“You are still going to Trafalgar Square aren’t you ?” I just checked.
“I’ll get you there dear, don’t worry about it” he said.
(English men “dear” and “luv” you a helluva lot here, which is kind of nice)
We waited for another traffic light, and it was warm. Both in and outside the bus.
Warm weather, aggressive drivers, and nut head tourist bus drivers not completely used to driving on the left, that can drive any London busdriver, and as would occur later, any London bus crazy.
We reached Piccadilly Circus, I told the pirate that we soon would go and visit The Cafe. He “aarh”ed a bit at the cars outside the bus, but behaved nicely mostly.
Halfway the roundabout of Piccadilly Circus, the place where it is most inappropriate, the bus started complaining. It was so hot, and the traffic so tight, that the motor overheated. It simply gave up. So there we were, on a crazy busy traffic point in the middle London, in a bus that refused to move.
The bus driver stepped out of his chair, and went around in the bus to personally apologize to everybody for the inconvenience, and he told us that he would just let the motor cool down a bit, and insured me that he definitely would deliver me on Trafalgar Square.
We were all fine with it, it was weekend, we weren’t in a hurry.
That we were blocking a great deal of the traffic on Piccadilly Circus, well I thought it was quite entertaining. I understood how the Elephant must have felt when he marched around here some weeks ago, stopping all traffic.
The bus driver tried to start his engine again, but it didn’t want to do anything at all.
A bus stopping on the middle of Piccadilly does attract some attention, and it didn’t take long before 2 policemen knocked on the windows. They wanted to know what we were doing.
We weren’t doing anything really, an neither was the bus.
And while we, the passengers, were perfectly fine with that, enjoying the view and all, we were asked to leave the bus by those two cops.
The bus driver apologized at least 10 times more, and told me how to get to Trafalgar Square. I told him not to worry, I knew how to get there, and I wished him a nice weekend despite his bus problems.
I turned around one more time, winked at him, and took a picture, so here you go : bus 6 stranded on Piccadilly Circus.
And let’s see if the Pirate has a chance to meet his alter ego tonight.