At this point in my year here I am completely convinced that, in twenty years from now when I look back at this year I will remember the big blue bus more than anything. Why? Because of the people and because of the lengthy rides watching those people. Part of what makes the business of getting on the bus everyday a routine are the “regulars”, as I call them, and it makes it even a little comforting to see them even if I still don’t know their names.

One lady seems to always sit in the same place and since I usually sit in the same seat as well it happens that she is always behind me. At first I thought she was just Swedish and there was nothing really different from her and others on the bus. But as I listened to her talk to a friend I noticed she had an accent, a Finnish accent and I was incredibly intrigued by the conversation. It had a completely different rhythm than her friend’s Swedish and I thought it was so fun to listen to it, I was on the same page of “Le petit Nicolas” for fifty minutes.

“Le petit Nicolas” is one of my favorite books. At the beginning of the year I promised myself that I would only read books in Swedish so I could get better at the language faster. After two good books in Swedish my abstinence from English had grown pretty strong so I had to accept that I had to stick with English books as a relaxing thing to do after a long day of Swedish. But when I read my books on the bus some of the people who sit next to me feel a need to show me, a stranger, that they, too can read in English. I think this is funny. One guy sits next to me and pulls out his latest book in English and reads about five pages during the entire ride. But hey, at least he’s proved that he can read in English, too. One girl happened to have a book in French with her when she saw me with “Le petit Nicolas” and, after a double-take she proudly pulled out a book in French and her dictionary and we both had a pleasant ride home.

A girl that sat next to me one day noticed that I was reading in English and… that was it. She was pretty young so she had not really gotten a strong hold of English yet. This little blonde girl has become my favorite passenger and I look for her every morning. I find her incredibly brave to, at her use the bus and find her away. I really think all kids here are so brave but this one girl really stands out. The city of rebro is well known for an excellent school of the deaf and people have moved from pretty far away to live in rebro and enroll their kids. The first time I say this girl she was with her mom and her brother and sister. I noticed right away that she was deaf. Every time the bus is full and I see her searching for a place to sit I make sure to try to make eye contact with her so she knows that I have a spot next to me. I really admire her.

Lastly, there is no trip into the city without the bus drivers and I have favorites. One lady seems so kind and gentle but drives faster than I would have expected. Another man that looks like he just came from 1970 with his… well… 70’s glasses and haircut is really polite to everyone and has a lot of patience. I was once on my way home late one afternoon and some guys in the back were pressing the “stop” button which makes the bus driver stop at every bus stop he passes- and the guys never got off. So instead of a fifty minute trip home they made it about and hour and ten minutes. The bus driver still did not say anything and kept going while the rest of the bus was ready to scream.

Like I said, these memories are not going to leave me. I’ll remember the smell, the seats and all the people. I like to think of life as a bus ride… in a non- cliché way of course, Ms.B.

Would you like to say hello?


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Address: Huginvgen 12, SE- 715 31 Odensbacken, Sweden

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