Tuesday, 29 June 2010
Like A Drowned Rat And Feeling Stupid
After a period of hot weather which has left me flagging at times, this morning there was torrential rain in my part of London.There was no clear blue sky to wake up to, just unremitting grey clouds and a substantial amount of rain pouring from them.
The rain was not altogether unexpected, but it wasn't the light shower that had been forecast, something that would not have bothered me too much, and it was fairly obvious that I was going to get wet on my way to the bus stop. And I was right to expect to get wet because just after I had left the house it started to rain even harder and my waterproof jacket was finding it hard to cope with the rain.
By the time that I got to the bus stop I had a very wet jacket, rather wet trousers, and the toes that were peeking out of my sandals were both wet and covered with dirt from the splashing rain. Fortunately my jacket has a hood so I was at least able to keep my hair dry otherwise I would definitely have looked like a drowned rat. I looked at the electronic board at the bus shelter to see how long I was going to have to wait for my bus and found that one was due in just a few minutes and another was about five minutes behind it.
I like to make sure that I have my Oyster card in my hand before I get on the bus so that I am not scrabbling around in my handbag for it while other people are waiting to get on the bus. I'm pretty good at putting it in a place in my handbag where it is easy to find whenever I need it, but this morning it wasn't in its usual slot in my bag. Panic set in. What had I done with it? I had used it yesterday and although I had removed quite a few things from my handbag when I was looking for something in it yesterday evening, I was fairly certain that I hadn't taken it out of my bag.
There was only one thing for it, I was going to have to take things out of my handbag systematically so that I could find the card. Unfortunately this was easier said than done because there was nowhere for me to put the things as I took them out. My bus arrived and I still hadn't found the card but as I knew that there was another imminent I decided to let this one go without me so that I could search a little longer. I did eventually find my card as a bus arrived at the stop.
With card in hand I leapt onto the bus (well, perhaps I didn't leap on) and found myself a seat. These days there are a number of different seating arrangements on our red double-decker buses, and this should have alerted me as I got on, but it wasn't until the bus was moving and the speaker system on the announced its route and destination that I realised I had got on the wrong bus. And I only had one more stop that was shared by both this bus and the one that I should have got on. So, I quickly rang the bell to alert the driver that I wanted to get off and a minute later I was back out in the rain waiting for the right bus.
I really cannot believe that I boarded a bus without checking to see what number it was. I had to wait for about 10 minutes (the bus wasn't quite as imminent as I had thought it was) for my bus to arrive getting wetter by the minute. By the time that I had arrived at my destination the rain had stopped but I was still looking like a drowned rat and feeling a stupid one at that.