I managed to go to the gym yesterday after not having been for two whole weeks, due to my flu and then general laziness. It wasn’t too bad, I’d obviously lost some of the progress I’d made already, but I’m pleased that I made myself go again.
I’ve been thinking about my increasing reluctance to go, and have decided that it’s partly because I have to get up at 6.30am (which isn’t too bad, I’m sometimes awake then anyway), but mostly due to me not liking the weights room there. If I only used the room with the running and rowing machines I think I’d be fine because I feel comfortable in there, but I always feel like I want to get in and out of the weights rooms as quickly as possible. I think I don’t like it because the men in there are so serious about it, and often look really, really angry. I suppose it’s because they’re all pumped up and exerting themselves, but it’s still a bit off-putting. Unfortunately it’s the weights that are going to make a difference to my musculature, so I can’t really cut that bit out, so I guess I’ll just have to live with it. At least I go early in the morning when there aren’t many people there.
I have also decided that I really, REALLY hate the bus now after having had two ridiculous days of waiting for 20 minutes at the bus stop for a service that’s meant to be every 6 minutes, and then enduring horrible crowded journeys that take forever. And it’s so expensive, it’s no wonder people still want to drive everywhere, why would you want to pay loads for a really crappy experience? What’s all the more galling is that while waiting at my bus stop for the elusive 25 to turn up, you have to watch three or four empty 49s sail past with annoying slogans daubed on the back saying things like “We’ll be shopping while you’re stuck in traffic”. Er no, I think that should be “You’ll be stood at a bus stop not having travelled further than 500 metres from your house for 20 minutes, and THEN you’ll have to pay through the nose for the privilege.”
So that got me thinking about all the reasons why going by car remains infinitely preferable to the stupid bus:
- you don’t have to walk for 10 minutes either side of your journey in the rain
- you get to decide when you leave and not be dictated to by arbitrary timetables and electronic signs that are only there to taunt you rather than display the actual time your bus will arrive
- you don’t have to sit with your feet in the remains of someone else’s kebab
- you don’t have to endure pikey chavs playing hip hop on the tinny speakers of their mobile phone
- you can control the temperature and not either be roasted alive from the ankles up by overactive fan heaters, frozen by howling gales blowing through impossibly small windows, or slowly choked by the gathering humidity that runs down the windows containing everyone’s exhaled saliva and germs.
- you don’t have to watch your chosen mode of transport sail past full without stopping, and then have to wait another 20 minutes for the next bus that very well may do the same thing.
- you don’t get verbally abused by angry drivers who decide they don’t like the denomination of legal tender that you’re offering to pay their wages with.
- you don’t spend the journey pressed up against a sweaty fat man’s armpit.
- you don’t have to endure people saying “excuse me please” when there’s clearly nowhere you can move to because the bus is overfull.
- you don’t have to listen to an annoying child saying “mummy I want it now, now mummy I want it now, mummy mummy mummy, I want it now”.
- you don’t have to feel like you’re being the unreasonable one when you ask someone to move their bag off the only remaining seat.
- you don’t feel compelled to thank the driver regardless of how delayed, slow or generally god awful the journey was.
- half the time you get stuck in exactly the same traffic jam you would if you were in a car, except that your progress is much slower because you keep pulling over every 20 yards.
- you don’t have to spend 45 minutes on a journey that would take 10 minutes in a car or 30 minutes on foot.
- you don’t have to endure grinding pain in your knees because the seats are too close together and the fat person in front of you is leaning back and slowly compacting your femurs.
- you don’t have to risk certain death walking down slippery, wet, narrow stairs on a moving vehicle in order to be ready to get off when you reach the bus stop, because if you DON’T get up and move to the front before the stop you’ll miss your chance and have to walk back from the next one. And although the stops are 20 metres apart for most of the journey, this is bound to be the section where it’s 2 miles to the next stop and the driver won’t let you off anywhere else because of health and safety.
- you don’t arrive at your destination haggard, disheveled, wet, in a foul temper, limping, and possibly having caught scabies or some other close-contact affliction.
In conclusion, I hate the bus. I’m sure there are plenty of other reasons to hate it, I might come back and add more as I think of them.