Riding the Bus in Italy

I wrote last year about the irritations of riding the bus with the schoolkids in the morning. They haven’t learned any more manners this year. As always, they gather where they think the bus doors will be when it stops, then elbow each other to get in first. When I see the bus coming I move in that direction, but consider it beneath my dignity to blatantly step in front of them all – someone’s got to set an example of civilized manners. Once the door is open, I let those ahead of me in “line” board, politely but firmly block anyone else from cutting in front of me (provoking some mutters, which I pretend to ignore), and, when finally on the bus, I give the driver an eye-roll about the kids’ lack of manners.

Evidently he agrees with me. The other morning, the bus pulled up very carefully and stopped a meter short of its usual position – right in front of me. I assumed that this was just coincidence, but as I stepped onto the bus, rightfully before everybody, the driver gave me a complicit grin. I smiled sweetly back. We’d pulled one over on the kids for once.

International Manners

Jan 17, 2006

In response to the above, Rick Freeman wrote:

“We were in Bermuda some while ago, and perhaps the most memorable thing about the trip is the way people acted on the bus … it was beyond manners, more of a whole etiquette dance. Every time there was a stop, the people who sat checked to see who came in and how they ranked. Virtually everyone got up at some point and gave their seat to someone else (older, pregnant, etc.).

Not exactly the most interesting place I’ve visited, but certainly lots of people with good manners.”

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