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What do you love about public transport?  For me, it is always the opportunity to talk to strangers. I have an added bonus of being a people person so I get to talk to more people. I am multi-lingual and that is more of a bonus. I speak fluent Cantonese and Hakka, therefore I get to speak to a lot more people than the average Glaswegain. I understand basic Mandarin and I am able to chat to Mandarin speakers on basic things. What a great talent I have!

I got talking to a mature woman at Central station last week with her Golden Retriever, named Finlay and I loooooveeeee dogs and asked to have a photo taken with Finlay and the woman was more than pleased to oblige. Hehe

I was chatting to a woman yesterday morning after I picked up what I needed from my local supermarket. She had her down to a TV magazine in hand so I asked her what was on TV this evening and that started our conversation. I learned that this woman has a 40 something year old son and from her looks, she came across as a 5o something year old. Far too young to have a 40 something year old son. Hehe

I was on the bus heading home after my weekly Toastmasters meeting a few weeks ago and heard a man shout (with much delight) that he saves his money from his concession card and uses it to drink in the pub. I found it rather funny that he shared this with his fellow passengers and started a conversation with those who were willing to chat with him.

One of the many benefits of travelling on public transport for me is the time to think of ideas for my Toastmasters speeches. As I am in the presence of the public and exposed to all sorts of unexpected circumstances, I have everything at my disposal for speeches. I write down what I want to speak about on my phone so that it is saved. My mind is awakened to all the possibilities to deliver my future speeches. I also get many ideas of what to include into each speech.

Another benefit of travelling by public transport is, I get the time to read my current non fiction book on my travels to and from my destination. This saves me time to do other tasks at home.

I remember when I was a driver and how boring it was driving to and from each of my destinations. I would not have the opportunity to chat with anyone nor would I get to enjoy the scenery. I had the radio or other form of music in the car to keep me company yet it was nothing compared to being surrounded by fellow passengers. The fun of witnessing all sorts of funny things that happens on public transport is priceless! Yes, public transport does take longer, it is rather time consuming and at the best of times, unreliable, yet there are a number of benefits to it when we have a positive mental attitude.

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The fun I get to have on public transport is never available if I was driving. In Glasgow, Scotland, where I live, we are ever so friendly so we love to have a chat with anyone about absolutely anything. Our unpredictable weather is the best topic ever to start a conversation with a stranger and it breaks the ice.

I love to speak to people of all ages, all walks of life, from all parts of the world. If I hear that their accent is from a foreign land, I shall ask them in a polite manner where they are from and point out that their accent gave me the clue that they are not local. This is a great opportunity to learn from other people’s culture and country.

I love to sit on the upper deck of a bus if I am in a double decker. The scenery from the upper deck is priceless as drivers miss out on this amazing opportunity to see our city from a different angle.

I love children and will chat with young children whenever I get the opportunity to yet the younger ones always seem to be frightened by my direct approach. Hehe

This afternoon’s bus journey with Calvin, my youngest son was another opportunity to witness how public transport is full of surprises. Our bus was full with passengers heading out for their Saturday fun and I heard a man talk loudly. He then walked towards the driver to wait to get off at a set of traffic lights and started singing at the top of his voice. He had one earphone in and sounded happy. I heard a woman who was standing on the stairs also waiting to get  off the bus say something like “oh he has lots of energy”!

On our way home we sat at the front of the upper deck to get a better view of the scenery. Two young boys came to join us with their mother who kept picking up their faults and was telling them off. She just couldn’t get her two young sons to behave and she was definitely not about to succeed with the way she was communicating with them. I observed the mother’s interaction with her sons for a while, before I made the choice to talk to her sons to distract them from misbehaving. I found out from chatting with the boys, that they were so excited to be at the front of the upper deck, especially the younger one and that’s why he was extra hyper. No wonder the mother could not get him to behave. She had missed this important fact as she was so focused on wanting her sons to behave.

There are days when I want my own space and keep myself to myself and I put my earphones on to listen to music on the bus. I get tired from being around people for any length of time, so I tend to want my own space after such occasion and having my meditation music on my phone helps me to recharge.

All in all, I have learned to love public transport for all the unexpected surprises that come my way everything I am on board!

 

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