Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Day One - 17A, 14, 27 & 529

Gonna try and keep these next ones short, or I won't even make it as far as D'Erby.


There was a man at Penzance bus stop - huge beard, broad brim straw hat, waistcoat, shorts and pink fleece - sat bellowing at everyone who passed, 'Bodrum and Dalaman!' He was stabbing a squat little finger in the air, accusatively. He got me in his crosshairs. I didn't know what he was talking about any more than anyone else did. 'Up there mate,' he said. He was pointing at an Easyjet advert on the side of the bus. Finally he leant right over and asked a man with a flightcase standing at the next bay down. This man had dark hair and tan skin. 'Hey! Bodrum and Dalaman! Do you know where that is?'
'Yes,' the other man said. 'They're in Turkey.'
The beard didn't stop. This seemed to confirm some point for him. The 'foreign' man knows the foreign place. A man holding a cigarette in fingers with long manicured nails peered over the top of his sunglasses at the beard, past a poor schoolgirl sitting nervously between them, and said, 'Stop being such a silly sod.'
The 17A left shortly afterwards, aiming for St Ives. I took it and got off at Wyevale Garden Centre.


Dora, let's call her, came out of the garden centre and waited with me at the bus stop. She had two bags of Pogonias. She's going to put them in her driveway. Usually she wouldn't get the bus down, her husband would drive, but he's only just come out of hospital and can't get out of bed for a few days and she wanted to pick up the the Pogonias before the bank holiday because they'd all be gone afterwards of course so she took the bus but they move everything around so much in there that she took longer than expected and was worried she'd missed the number 14 home so she was eversogladtoseemestandingtherecosthatmeantsheprobablyhadn't. Dora was the first friend I made on the buses, but she had an unfortunate case of verbal diarrhoea. I don't think she drew breath once apart from to gasp when she dropped her flowers on the bus floor. But we had a nice conversation. Well, she did.


The 27 bus driver was a barrel shaped beast. He had a long goatee and a once colourful tattoo on his arm. Small eyes. He looked solid, tasty, a real bus driver.
In Truro a load of Pensioners got on the bus having done, I presume, their bank holiday weekend shop. They nearly filled the bus. Despite asking very politely, the driver was suspicious of me taking my collection tin around. 'Don't force anyone, yeah?' he said. I was warned. But I cleaned up. I felt like I was doing something wrong at first. Taking money off old people under the pretence that you're raising it for charity when actually you just need it for skinny jeans and Gap's summer range isn't wrong, right?


My first Greyhound bus of the journey. Not to be confused with the Greyhound Coaches operating in the United States of America. Easy mistake to make.

When I arrived in Bodmin, the end of the line for today's bus travel, my first cousin once removed came to pick me up. Let's call him AB. AB is a Vicar. We were driving towards his house when we found a lamb, a hoggett, stuck between a bramble hedge and a barbed wire fence. After a few minutes of it running backwards and forwards between the two, I managed to catch it and lift it to freedom. Its mother, aunts and extended family seemed very grateful. I got back in the car with my cousin, the Vicar, and wondered if I had just been involved in a Christian metaphor.

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