Ok, so this one could get me into a bit of trouble. Actually all of the “Things I won’t do when I have kids” posts, can get me into trouble…people are so uptight these days. Anyway whatever.
I have to say that I don’t use public transport much, in the sense that I usually don’t use it during peak times, nor do I use it to travel long distances. But all in all I use it enough (ps: I love the opal card system). Twice last month I was surprised by parents with strollers, rolling straight onto the bus with the stroller completely open, ie. not collapsed. What the…? Is this the norm now? I sort of froze and looked around the other passengers with just my eyes. Am I the only one that thinks this is strange behaviour? Who is going to say something? Silence….(queue the cricket sound)
So why is this so strange to me?
Firstly, I guess I’m old school. Growing up Sydney and I never saw (let’s forget the fact old buses didn’t have the space for fully opened strollers). In the old days, when the bus approached, parents would grab their child in their arms, collapse the stroller with one hand, and get ready to board. So, this was the first time that I had witnessed this behaviour. If you have seen it before then you may already be immune to it. Secondly, and more importantly, I think it is inconsiderate to the other passengers, and dare I say it, lazy (omg omg omg, he said it) on the part of the parent. Why did these parents think it was ok to just roll-on on. This was not always the way, so why is it now, or is it? Just because nobody says anything about it doesn’t mean it’s ok.
The issue with this being inconsiderate behaviour comes from the fact that the bus is already a small space. People are already cramped in to use the space as efficiently as possible. Sure, on these particular days, the bus was not full. But the parents were not to know this until the bus had stopped at their bus stops, and they had gotten on. There was no way for them to know beforehand that the bus would not be full on this occasion. Now considering they didn’t prepare themselves, ie. collapse the stroller as the bus approached, means they simply assumed 1. the bus would be vacant enough to accommodate the stroller, and 2. that actually bringing onto the bus a fully open stroller was acceptable behaviour, and 3. they assumed no other passengers would be getting on, therefore they could take up as much space as they wanted. Their first assumption was correct, and possibly their second assumption was correct too. I didn’t hear any gasping or murmuring, or tsk tsk tsk sounds. Actually there were tsk tsk tsk sounds, but they were in my head, hahaha.
Perhaps it’s just me, but I don’t like to put people out, especially in communal situations such as this. In my own house, I do what I want. In my own car, I do what I want. But on public transport, in order for the system to work, and be a pleasant experience for all, we must all take into consideration everybody else. We are all different, but for the short period in which we are in such close proximity, consideration must be priority. Control yourself. Think of others. Be considerate.
You know what makes travelling on public transport such a loathsome experience? Other people! Yes that’s right, other people. And you know why? because they are not like you, because they behave differently to you, because they look different, because they smell different, because they are louder than you, because they sit too close, because they’re carrying too much, because they don’t move all the way to the back, because they don’t get up for the elderly, because they’re eating, because they have funny hair, because they have too many tattoos, because their music is too loud, because they talk on their mobiles, because they use their mobiles…. because because because because.
We have all fallen into one of these “because” categories at one time. You may think you are the ideal passenger, the epitome of a considerate passenger, but believe me, at one point in your travels.. you put someone off.
So what is the point of this rant?
It’s not an attack on parents, it’s an attack on human behaviour as a whole.
I think I summed it up in my previous statement, “for the short period in which we are in such close proximity, consideration must be priority”.
We live in harmony because there are many unspoken rules that we abide by. Different cultures have different rules.
I remember parents used to collapse their prams before getting onto the bus.
Can I bring my shopping trolley on the bus? why not?
Why can’t I take my bike on the bus??
Can I bring my dog?
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