Taken for a ride

I was musing about what to write in this week’s blog when my bike was snatched. Perhaps not intentionally, but there was definitely some mal intent going on. Let me explain.

The public buses in this city allow you to place a bike on a rack at the front while you ride on board. This has been a real lifesaver for me, especially for uphill journeys or to travel to far-flung parks. I was headed to such a park last week, en-route to a hospital CT scan, in an attempt to assuage some of my anxiety about the procedure.

The trouble began at a stop where drivers were changing shifts. We had been there for some minutes, so with a sense of rising anxiety, I got off the bus to ask a couple of the drivers when we would be departing. One of them said the bus would leave when the driver arrived. I turned around to see that a different driver had got on the bus and shut the door. I banged on the door for him to let me in and he wouldn’t open it. He pointed to the bus stop, directly in front, so I scooted there, only to watch him drive off – with my bicycle in tow.

Although he probably didn’t know it was my bike, there’s really no excuse for him not letting me on the bus. Watching my bike disappear rendered me instantly apoplectic. My plans were in tatters and furthermore, I LOVE this bike.

After attempting many ways to find a solution, eventually, the driver of the next bus (who had witnessed the event) called his supervisor and it was arranged that he would drive me to a stop 20 minutes up the road, where I was to wait for the same bus to come back round again. Nearly an hour after it whizzed out of my sight, I was once again reunited with my beloved bike.

Unfortunately, upon my seeking an explanation for his actions, the driver was unrepentant and completely indifferent. I told him I was going to report him, which I did later that day. I’ve yet to see any results from my impassioned account, but I still feel it is important to report any kind of unacceptable behaviour like his to try and stop it happening to other people.

Speaking of behaviour, while I confess that I didn’t conceal my distress very well and was crying and wailing a fair bit, on no occasion, – on either bus, or waiting endlessly at the bus stop, did any of the passengers approach or ask what was wrong. I mean, really? I know that this is a big city and people are mistrustful of anything out of ordinary, but I was clearly not dangerous, just upset.

 Maybe it was harder to look away before we had phones to disappear into, but consider what will happen the next time the person who needs help is you. Random acts of kindness should not be noteworthy, they should be the norm. Let’s all step up and try and show that bit of extra care and consideration for one another, whether in our jobs or in our everyday lives.

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