Thursday, March 22, 2012

Stranger on a bus

I was just re-reading a very old post about conversations with strangers, and it got me to thinking about the number of times I've sat on a bus or a train and had some of the most amazing conversations of my life with people who's names I didn't even know.  I remember once, about 4 or 5 years ago now, I was getting on a train, and I walked past a friendly looking guy at a table, but I didn't sit with him, I just wanted to sit on my own and read my book.  Well, after a while we learnt that there were engineering works on the train lines, so we were going to have to get a bus for a few hours.  When I got onto the bus I found a nice quiet seat by the window and settled down for the journey.  A few minutes later, this same guy got on and sat next to me, and within minutes we were chatting away.  It was just so easy, and we had so much in common that the conversation just flowed back and forth without any awkward pauses.  For the 3 or 4 hours we were on the bus we learnt so much about  each other, he was a teacher at a secondary school, I was an office temp (at that point!), he liked skiing and snowboarding, I liked travelling and living out of a rucksack, he liked science fiction books, I liked rock music... When we had reached Birmingham, where we then had to get different trains, we waited whilst the other retrieved their bags.  Our next trains were departing from different stations, so we said our goodbyes, (almost going in for a hug after all that chat, but neither of us really wanted to be the one to make a move!) and went our separate ways.  It was only as I entered the station that I realised I had never asked him what his name was, and to this day, one of my biggest regrets in life is not asking him if he wanted to have a cup of coffee with me until my train arrived.  And who knows what would have happened if I had sat at his table on the train to begin with?  And even now, all this time later, I think about the stranger on the bus, and what he might be doing, and whether or not he thinks about me?

1 comment:

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