Musings of an Englishman who literally quit his life in Devon in mid-2012 to move to Tijuana to love a girl.
They ended up in San Diego where he became a TV anchorman (yes really...), they got married, and now they're living in England together.
Simple as that really.
Follow your heart, who knows where it will lead.

Crazy. Beautiful. Madness.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Rail Tales - Adventures on Public Transport

YOU know, I’m no weirdo… but I sure do seem to attract them.
I can be sat on a train or bus with maybe a hundred MILLION seats available around me and the weirdo will always walk up, sit opposite me, and engage me in some form of nonsensical conversation.
Because I’m just too nice to be rude I always seem to let them talk. And the next thing I know 40 minutes has passed, we know each other’s names, and I think I’m beginning to smell like he does.
Ahhh… public transport. Don’t you just love it?!
Stripped back to its essential purpose it provides the same thing all over the world – the place where every weirdo in town hangs out.
Whether it’s actually on the bus, train or tram, or indeed at the bus, train or tram station, these areas are the unofficial homes of the strange sorts who drift through day and night just being, well… weird.
If they’re actually on the public transport they’re in transit, and so provide almost a travelling entertainment show.
Every city’s the same. And believe me when I say that San Diego, situated right next door to TJ, is no different.
I crossed the border last week for a series of secret squirrel meetings - which sadly I can’t talk about right now.
Anyhow to get to Fashion Valley, where the meeting was taking place, I had to get the ‘trolley’ which – by UK definition – is an over-ground train.
The trolley took over an hour to get to the valley stopping at various industrial and residential areas, and Down Town.
And I knew, as soon as I stepped foot on it, I would be ‘entertained’ shall we say.
For someone like me getting a seat on public transport is like playing Russian roulette with an equally sinister possible eventuality.
Do I choose to sit next to the fairly sane-looking woman reading the newspaper whose hair is slightly mad-looking?
Or how about the guy staring out the window seemingly minding his own business, whose hand is rather worryingly close to his groin.

Hand placement debatable...
Hmmm… next carriage then.
I’m never sure whether the guy I sit next to will ask me for directions, or pee on me.
(For the record the latter hasn’t happened yet but we all know it’s only a matter on time…).
In any case the bottom line is if something strange is going to happen to you in your day, you can bet your bottom dollar it will happen on public transport.
On this particular day last week I jumped on the trolley, briefly forgetting the risks.
About five minutes in I looked up thinking ‘is that guy to the left of me staring at me?’
Sure enough he was.
He must have been little over 25 but the crazed focus and greyness of his tired eyes told me he had experienced far more in life than a young man should.
He didn’t engage me in conversation. He simply stared and made noises. Very LOUD noises.
He gargled, he whooped, he giggled, bleeted and barked, and he made bird noises – oh, and he muttered the occasional swear word.
All the time, staring.
Needless to say I switched carriages at the next stop.
The next carriage seemed okay at first. The seat next to me was free so I had a moment of relaxation.
And then the wire-framed black guy sitting opposite piped up ‘you look like a guy who knows about style…’
‘And you look, and smell, like a guy who just soiled himself…’ I thought.
Oh god. Can everyone just leave me alone, I pleaded in my head.
The icing on the cake came when, at the next stop, a guy jumped on board and asked to have the spare seat next to me.
He seemed okay and perfectly sane at first. But I soon realized he had some sort of facial skin complaint, which meant he couldn’t help but scratch himself.
Oh, and he really REALLY smelt of fish.
Did he have serious issues with his body odour? Or did he actually work in a fish market? Unsure. But I definitely wasn’t going to ask him.
The worst part was that this day was a particularly balmy 32 degrees. Everyone was sweating – including the fish guy.
And – whether on purpose or not – he proceeded to over-enthusiastically rub his sweaty arm and shoulder on me with every turn of the track.
What do you do?! Do you ask him to stop even though he might not actually know what he’s doing? Or do you let him continue with the thought in mind that this is now some sort of homo teasing game.
‘Oop… my stop’.
I get off, at – it soon becomes apparent – one of the roughest neighbourhoods in San Diego.
Still at least the chance of being peed on is minimal.
I need to buy a car.
People are indeed strange when you’re a stranger.
During that same transit I also saw a huge black man sitting opposite a three foot tall golden Buddha. You know, that’s an everyday sight right?
Another girl was so heavily tattooed it was difficult to make out whether she was born that way and had skin colour tattoed on her.
Getting in amongst the general public you also can’t help but rate people’s dress sense.
And a great many Americans seem to have some of the most bizarre fashion, well, disasters.
I mean, people wear sunglasses on their faces, and they wear them on their heads but… what’s with wearing them on the back of your head?!
These people might just as well wear T-shirts saying ‘tool’ on them.
I also hate people who wear their caps backwards. And then you see these people putting their hands up to shield the sunlight from their eyes. I’m sorry but WTF?

No caption needed here...
Anyway, Jacks and I are off to look for a car.
Hope you’re all well! Oh, and a big 'HELLO' to my followers in Russia, Ecuador and Poland! x

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