Tuesday, October 24, 2006

When boarding public transit, Victorians say "Hello!" to the bus driver, and when exiting they say "Thank you!". Don't ask me why, it just seems to be the way of things here. It doesn't matter how crowded the bus is or how many people are exiting, when those back doors swing open it's "Thank you! Thank you! THANK you! THANK YOU!" like a line of penguins squawking their way off an iceberg.
I'm from Vancouver where we don't say anything to the bus driver, so I find this all a little uncomfortable. The grey faced anonymity of public transit has always appealed to me in a Kafkaesque sort of way, and to be confronted with this flip-side "Ozzie and Harriet" version of it so late in the game is disconcerting. Maybe I just need to give it a bit more time.
I shocked myself by trying out a tentative "Hello" on the bus driver yesterday morning and was reciprocated with a booming "Hello!"in return and approving smiles from the passengers, so it's easy to slide into these things.
"Victoria," says my friend KB, "is a velvet rut."