Wednesday, November 18, 2009

In which it is hot on the bus

On Monday evening I was coming home from the Gender Rights are Human Rights* exhibition at the Legislative Assembly on the bus. Actually, imagine for a moment that I am stepping on to the bus, inserting my monthly ticket into the bip-beep machine and then sitting down on the side of the bus that I habitually sit on. I have consumed half a glass of sparkling red wine and two canapes (one chicken, one unidentified but tasty).

The bus is an airconditioned bus. But OH NO! The airconditioning is not working. It is hot on the bus. It may not be 37 degrees on the outside, my friends, but oh it most certainly is on the inside. The collection of young people, old people, poor people, people who fear driving and people who believe passionately in sustainable transport sigh heavily and droop.

Until a woman stands up and walks to the front of the bus. She says something inaudibly quiet to the bus driver. The bus driver says audibly loudly 'Oh, sorry!' and stands up and fiddles with some controls. The air begins, gradually gradually, to cool down. The bus driver (who has a separate airconditioning system over the seat) had put the heater on instead of the cooling. So.

How many trips had he made before someone commented? How many old, young, poor, fearful or passionate people fainted or sustained damage to their health? How long did it take to cool down? (I can answer that one, from Civic, across Commonwealth Bridge, down the avenue past Albert Hall and part way round the Circle). How apologetic was the bus driver? (a little bit, but not enough). And how sad and slightly angry was I when I hopped on my un-airconditioned bus on the way home from work this evening to find that it was even hotter than the bus with the heater on? Sigh.

*It's on until Friday if you can get there. You have to go through the security check at the front door of the Legislative Assembly, so remember to take your Swiss Army Knife out of your handbag before you go.

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