I’ve been travelling to work on the bus this week, and am starting to learn that 8.00am is the Witching Hour on ACT roads. 15 minutes before and after, I can get a seat on the bus easy. But today, I found myself standing.
For about 40 minutes.
It started out innocent enough. Until making my life in Australia, I’ve been a public transport bunny for most of my commuting life. Suffice to say, standing on buses and trains in Singapore is about standard when you’re the 3rd most densely populated country in the world. And with enough government-funded Courtesy Campaigns for the last 30+ years, we’ve been conditioned to try and give up our comfy bus/train seat for those who need it more.
It didn’t dawn on me until about 20 minutes into the journey that I’ve finally arrived. I’m one of them. I’m the Expecting Mother, for whom seat nearest to the door should be abdicated. Phwoar.
(The fact that my feet were starting to kill me softly had a little to do with that shiny piece of enlightenment. But I digress.)
While I revelled in my newfound sense of entitlement, clearly the passengers of bus 200 did not get the memo. And so the brain chatter went something like this.
“Relax. You’ve stood in buses plenty of times. It’s not all about you.”
“But I’m pregnant! And there’s a sticker! On the window! That says I get a chair!”
“You’re not going to turn into One Of Those Women, are you?”
“What are you talking about?”
“The kind that carries on like the world owes her a living because she’s now knocked up.”
“Well, maybe they owe me a little..?”
“Stop being such a baby, and suck it up. You’re pregnant. You’re not a bloody invalid.”
“But… look at all these men! Sitting down! In their fancy suits! And the women are standing! Most of the people standing are women! CHIVALRY IS DEAD!”
“Stop glaring… you’re embarrassing me…”
“DEAD, I TELL YOU! YES, YOU! I’M LOOKING AT YOU! AND DON’T PRETEND YOU DIDN’T SEE ME! I’M STANDING NEXT TO YOU, AND THIS IS NOT A BOWLING BALL UNDER MY DRESS – ALTHOUGH IT WEIGHS 11 POUNDS!”
“YOU PONCY LITTLE MAN! AND YOUR SILLY IPOD! MY FEET ARE KILLING ME! AND YOUR TASTE IN MUSIC IS HORRID!”
“Okay, now you’re just being unreasonable…”
“I WANT TO RIP OUT YOUR PRECIOUS IPOD EARPHONES AND SMACK THEM OVER YOUR $200 BECKHAM-WANNABE HAIRCUT LIKE THEY’RE MINI NUNCHUCKS!”
“I’m going to pretend I didn’t hear you say that…”
and so on.
Thankfully, someone deigned to get off the bus right then, and this beautiful teenage girl with lioness hair flowing down her back and beautiful big breasts that still point to the sky promptly floated over to the newly-vacated seat, and waved me over.
And I sank into the seat, ever so thankful. And feeling, for the very first time, like a hormonal pregnant woman with fat feet.
I drive to work tomorrow.