27 thoughts on “Things I like about Brisbane, #23

  1. That’s funny, I was thinking about that just the other day, why do people do that for bus drivers (happens in Melbourne too BTW), when they wont give up their seat for old people or pregnant women?

    What defines old when giving up your seat? If they’re on their way to work but over 60, are they still competing in the rat race and therefore ineligible?

  2. Many years ago, before I even turned 40, a schoolgirl offered me her seat on a (Melbourne) train. It was an awkward situation whatever I did, so I took it. And it wasn’t even an occasion on which I was injured or anything.

    What I don’t like is cheerful trammies saying things like “Goodbye, you beautiful people”. There should be more respect for personal space on public transport to offset the physical proximity that is thrust upon us.

  3. The journalist David Dale once told of a scene he witnessed in a New York bus as an elderly lady got off the bus:

    Driver to lady: Have a nice day, ma’am.
    Lady: What did you say, driver?
    Driver: You heard, lady!

  4. It seems limited to schoolgirls in Sydney. Anyone who catches a bus past North Sydney Girls High in the morning gets used to forty girls filing off the bus and thanking the driver cheerfully. It makes people happy or drives them batty, depends on whether you’re in the mood for high pitched voices at that time of day.

  5. I used to hear it in Sydney too. Not all the time though. The bus drivers in Brisbane appear to be friendlier though. Maybe that is why they get thanked more often.

  6. I live in Sydney and I now catch the train. However when I did catch the bus most people said thanks to the driver as they disembarked.

  7. Yep, it’s pretty common in Sydney too. It can be a bit odd when it’s a railway bus and thirty people get off at one stop, saying thank you one after the other.

  8. Sien

    It does indeed happen in Canberra. Must be good for karma, as the bus drivers here are pretty polite (giving space on the road) as they whoosh past me on my bike.

  9. I’m new to Brisbane and the thing about bus passengers in this town that gets me is the fact they generally wait in a civilised manner by forming a queue. Never, ever seen this happen in my old town of Melba. A thing I like about Brisbane.

  10. A woman with a pet rat in a cage got on my tram. She sat opposite a woman who had a pet lizard peering at the world out of her rather loose-srapped beehive hairstyle.

    They seemed to get on quite well.

    And the women were very polite to each other.

  11. There seems to be a certain something about Yarraville (Melbourne, west), besides the fact that many fine musicians live there. The local bus drivers are all old Italian or other European men and get to know their passengers personally. One used to boom “Hello, young lady!” when my daughter was little (she doesn’t use them any more as her schools were in the other direction). The other day my S O got on the bus as it was sitting idling by the bus stop (pumping great gobs of diesel into the air, why do they do that?) and someone said:
    “Hey mate, this is the Altona bus. You usually get the Yarraville West.”
    “Nah I know, the Yarraville West is a bit late, I’m just keeping warm till it goes.”

  12. “…the thing about bus passengers in this town that gets me is the fact they generally wait in a civilised manner by forming a queue. Never, ever seen this happen in my old town of Melba.”

    As far as I am aware there is only one place in Melbourne where this happens – the bus stop near Huntingdale station, used almost exclusively by students going to Monash. The students there politely line up waiting for the bus, (and often wait, and wait since there seems to be no arrangement to have a regular bus meet the trains). This dissappearance of this may be the only sad thing when they eventually get around to fulfilling the 1960s promise of building a railway link that includes Monash.

  13. Actually, I think North Road (leading out to Monash, for you foreigners) is the sort of road that could use a light rail/tram extension, what with its straight course and median strip. That bus is nowhere near as useful as it used to be, now that it no longer goes to Elwood Beach (despite being falsely advertised as such).

    On that age before beauty thing, on the other hand, just a few years before that – when I was 35 and had only just arrived in Australia – someone mistook me for young enough that he suggested I join a 20-something youth group. Those first middle aged years must be the ones that do the damage, like the last few feet of a hundred foot fall. “When I was younger, in my prime… Now I’m older, going grey…” – and the rest of it, which I’m sure JQ would censor, being an old fuddy duddy by now.

  14. But, DT, it’s like the late Dave Allen said about Virgin Airlines: he personally didn’t want to travel on an airline that didn’t go all the way. Now the bus doesn’t cross the last road and get to Elwood Beach, certainly its own safety record improves – but the passengers have to walk further and face more risk as pedestrians crossing that same road.

  15. I live in Sydney and always try to queue for the bus, and always say thanks when I get out the front door (I’d have to yell if I tried this from the back door).

    But then, I AM originally from Brisbane…

  16. See how far the bus took you out of your way? It dumped you between Melbourne culture and Brisbane comfort, falling between two stools if ever I heard it.

  17. As Sien, McD, and matt observe, it happens in Canberra too.

    What suprised me, after three months of catching a bus in casual clothes, was when I put the old pin-stripe suit back on. I thanked the driver, a man far older than me, and he responded with a “Thank you, sir!” I felt like I’d time-warped back into the Edwardian era.

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