|A bus in Lyon. No traffic jam.|
I text a girlfriend and she's available to text back so we text for ten minutes and that helps the time go by. 45 minutes on a stretch that only takes 2 normally. Boredom? Tell me about it.
Then the bus leaves that road as part of its route and takes another one, where there is no traffic. Yay! When we finally get to the bottom of that road however, another traffic jam awaits us at the intersection where the bus turns next. Nothing was moving for hundreds of yards and we were obviously in for a long wait.
But my stop was only 30 yards away. I wait 2 minutes, and then, just as pissed as everyone else at being sardined in a traffic-jammed bus (is that even English?) for almost an hour, I politely ask the driver if he can open the doors for those of us who want to alight at that stop.
Me: Est-ce que vous pourriez ouvrir les portes s'il vous plait pour laisser descendre les gens pour cet arrêt ? (Could you open the doors so that people who want this stop can get off please?)
Driver: Non, désole. Je n’ai pas le droit de laisser descendre les passagers ailleurs qu’à un arrêt. (No, sorry. I'm not authorised to let people off anywhere else than at a bus stop.)
Me: Mais il n'est qu’a trente mètres et rien ne bouge ! (But it's only thirty meters away and nothing's moving!)
Driver: Non. Désole. (No, sorry.)
His persnickety and punctiliously excessive sticking-to-the-rulebook attitude annoyed me. A lot. So I said, mostly to myself, and IN ENGLISH - because English 'gets it out of my system' better than French when I'm annoyed;
Me: Oh that's total fucking bullshit. The traffic is at a standstill and we've been in this thing for an hour for fuck's sake!
Driver: Well fuck you. I'm not opening the doors until the bus stop.
I WAS DUMFOUNDED!! THE GUY SPEAKS ENGLISH!!! AND WELL!! AND WITH A LOVELY ACCENT!!! So I looked him right between the eyes, smiled, and said;
Me: Fuck you too. But you have a super accent I must say.
Driver (smiling): Thanks, I lived in England for years.
Then he opened the doors, I thanked him, he said no problem, I got off the bus, and we waved goodbye....
Languages are good for you.