Friday, January 8, 2010

Bus People

"I've been to the dentist's a thousand times, so I know the drill," Dental Care by Owl City.

I study in Penang, and before I had Adam to drive around, I regularly took the most popular mode of public transport in Penang, the bus, in order to go out to catch a movie, indulge in unnecessary spending or just breathe some Queensbay air (which isn't all that nice, mind you).

And after a whole semester of not riding the bus, unavoidable circumstances has made it so that I had to take the bus again, and this time, instead of just treating it like just another bus ride (as I always have), I decided to observe the types of people you might call your fellow passengers. And these are my findings (from that particular bus ride and also from memory).

1. Window gazers.
These people immediately look out the window the second their bottoms touch the seat and take in everything there is to look at, or whatever their attention span allows. They look at pretty girls, hot dudes, read signs, laugh at misspellings, observe mice in gutters, etc. They are so entranced by their observations that not even the loud voices (see no. 4) can distract them. When they finally reach their destination, they push the stop button, and exit the bus without a sound.

2. Sleepers.
These kind of people find it hard to keep their eyes open in the event of riding a bus. The soothing purr of the bus engine and the gentle massage that the bus provides in the form of friction between the tires and the tar ground seduces them into an immediate slumber. They sleep easily on the bus, but somehow, by some miracle, they manage to wake up two stops before their destination and are able to get off the bus with a satisfied yawn and stretch. However, there are always the unlucky few who oversleep and don't manage to wake up in time and are forced to go down at the bus terminal and get another bus (to continue their slumber).

3. Earphones.
These people wear their earphones from the moment they wait for the bus, and lower the volume/take off one earpiece (optional) when paying for the trip and continue stuffing their ears with their selection of music to drown out the cacophony that surrounds them, both emitted from the bus and the people (see no. 4). They couldn't care less what's going on in the outside world (besides where the bus is going) as their minds are too busy singing along to the tunes that have been plugged less than an inch to their eardrums. Sometimes these people sing-along out loud, but this is a rarity.

4. Loud talkers/disturbers.
When we ride a bus, there always seems to be a group of these people. They might come in the form of two Indonesian maids, loudly talking about their latest expeditions with their boyfriends for the whole world to hear, or they could even turn out to be a group of rowdy school boys disturbing a group of uninterested school girls. In whatever form they appear in, they never fail to disturb all the other people who just want to enjoy some peace and quiet on the bus. Sometimes the din that they make is loud enough to overcome the music coming out of earphones, causing no. 3s to turn up their volume to the max level. They break the concentration of no. 5s, causing the no. 5s to wish the group would jump off a cliff, or at least the moving bus right then and there. The amazing thing is, even if they get angry glares from their fellow passengers, they don't really care. They sort of enjoy disturbing the peace and getting attention, be it bad attention.

5. Readers (rare).
Yes, they are rare here in Penang, scratch that, in Malaysia. Malaysians just don't read for pleasure, even more so on a bus. But every now and then we can see one or two people holding up a newspaper trying hard to keep the paper from falling apart, or a person would be reading a paperback novel, totally engrossed in the world created by their imaginations. There is also another kind of reader. The one sitting beside/behind our original reader. This side-reader will read whatever our original reader is holding, since he/she has nothing better to do. He/she usually doesn't get to read the whole page before our original reader turns it. These side-readers really should think about bringing their own reading materials instead of breathing down other people's necks and putting-off the original reader's will to read.

If there are any other types that you might have noticed that have missed my eyes, please don't hesitate to leave it in the comment box.

p/s- This post was inspired by Sir Igniz's posts.



chris_lim said...

Interesting observations, I'm certainly no.6 : People observers. I think u are in this category too :P

aa the bus pic is farmiliar... I've used it for my post before.

cik penguin said...

i'm in 1, 3, 4, 5. and yeah, just like this dude up here, i'm a people observer too. haha. my friends often say to me "nampak je ehh?" or others will chyme in, "tau takpe" haha :PP

*plus there are the text-ers. they text message all the way!

anak pak man said...

yeah, no.6 would be the really quiet ones, eyes always wide open and taking mental notes.. hehe
and the bus pic, just google lor.. took the first pic that came up.. haha

cik penguin,
yes! no.7 would be the texters! i was waiting for someone to raise that one.. turns out it didn't take long.. haha

Nada Syazana said...

Lol to the loud talkers. I remember during a trip down to JB, this auntie went "HA?! SEGAMAT AHHH?!! Notchet! Notchet!" in 100000dB at 3 freaking AM. This was on a train tho XD

Btw, I fall under category 1. And I support category 7 - text, text, text, pastu sengih sorang2. Haha. Macam2 kerenah cute.

anak pak man said...

Imagine how she's like during the day time..

Cute ke? Nak kena cuba gak ah jadi no.7.. hehe

Nada Syazana said...

Lol, the ear plug companies will make a fortune from the people around her. Ok, that's so not nice of me. Sorry Auntie! Hehe. Dude, if you sengih too much looking at your text messages, you might just be mistaken for an asylum escapee! XD

anak pak man said...

Hehe,just hope that she doesn't stumble upon this blog and read your comment.. (Highly unlikely)
OMG! How did you know where I came from??