Sunday, June 19, 2011

Beauty in The Red Bus

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Don't know and don't really care who said that, but I think it is very true.

Today, as "the beholder", I saw a beauty.

It was a Saturday afternoon, the weather was confusing, supposed to be a sunny summer, but apparently London has been in such an unpredictable and annoying mood in the last several days. I was on the red bus number 24, heading to Camden town.

There were two baby strollers already in the bus, sat nicely in the specially-designed space in the very center of the bus body. At Chalk Farm road stop, however, the third baby stroller got in the bus. As expected, it caused a problem as the bus is designed for maximum two strollers.

The bus driver told the couple with the third baby stroller that he could not drive with a stroller (with a baby in it) in the bus corridor. The option was to carry the baby, and fold the stroller. The couple said that they could not do that as the baby was sleeping. The bus driver said (in a slightly not nice tone) that "then you have to get off". He even opened the doors for them already.

However, the black-haired woman standing next to one of the two others stroller offered to fold her stroller instead. She, in her foreign accent, told her blond young son to get off the stroller, and folded it so that the couple could use their place. The young boy looked sleepy yet obediently got off his stroller. The couple affectionately stroked this little boy head showing their thankfulness.

But the act of kindness did not stop there. An old man, with his white fez, tunic, and Osama Bin Laden-styled beard hastily got off his seats, offered them to the little boy and his mum. The woman and her son thankfully took the seats.

The red bus driver shut the door and carried on.

This happened in less than 3 minutes, but it was enough to make my eyes felt slightly warm and teary. I thought of these people kindness. I thought about these people differences, London-ness. The White-British couple, the Eastern European (or Latina, I could not really tell, I am very bad at recognizing accent), and the dark-skinned Muslim man (cannot really tell his racial background and cannot recognized his accent too). I knew, this is the London that I want to remember.

Ah, my eyes feel warm and are now slightly teary again. It is the thought of the beauty in the red bus and these London people, that probably bring me to the thought of Princess Phyra and Prince Fluvius.

*picture was taken by me, December 2010

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