James’ Easy Guide – How to ride a bus in China

There is nothing like riding a bus full of Chinese to get you back with touch with your fellow man. There is always room for one more person. There’s a loud squeal whenever the driver brakes suddenly to avoid a cyclist who is not looking, going the wrong way and going straight at the bus. I have often been that cyclist.

The bus

There are subtle strategies to getting the all-important seat on the bus. The first is to ride at a time when no-one else is getting the bus. There is a crucial window of time from 10am to 3pm. Outside these times, you have to resort to strategy number 2: wait at the back of the bus. This is where most of the seats are concentrated. However, the back of the bus may already be full. Sometimes, the bus is so full that you are grateful for a pole to hang onto.

Actually, the bus does have many redeeming qualities. I am always heartened to see young people bully an older person to take their seat. Bullying means grabbing of arms and a gentle nudge. Things are more polite in Britain, but are we too polite? The old buses are getting replaced with new air-conditioned buses. However, there is a price increase of 3p to 13p.

British bus companies take note, please?

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