I ride the bus and metro to get around. I have been told I should buy a macchina (car) of some sort and join the Roman rush-hour of terror. Since I am quite indecisive and only been here a year ( already!) , I get around by metro, bus, feet , taxi and Friends.
Riding the bus is an adventure for me always. I have used the bus for educational purposes; it’s how I learned the language for getting off the bus. On the bus I have to be nosy in order to understand Italian. It’s where I get a short and sometimes long sightseeing tour of the city I call home-Roma.
Today, I experience something many females have encounter…the guy who “accidently” touches you.
I am tired often in the afternoons and in many situation getting a seat on the bus requires gladiator skills. In the country of tolerance , there is NONE for the seats on the bus. Where I work buses are few , cars are plenty and metro is somewhere far. I wait for the bus every afternoon and so I am zombie routine numb.
This afternoon , I boarded as always , quick gaze saw there were no seats available and thus my next favorite spot is where the handicap/ baby strollers would reside. I am not super tall so this area makes an okay back rest for me. I use this time to check emails from across the pond, instagram/Eyem post -routine.
Another thing with the bus, people touch you especially when crowded and the driver has to murder the breaks every five minutes because everyone cuts him/her off or he/she is on their phone chatting.
Today was not so bad, there was a lot of space for breathing room… personal space doesn’t exist here. If this is a problem for anyone, don’t visit. So, I have my arm around the rail so I can check my messages, to my right, to help my balance and my feet in a firm mountain climbing stance when I felt the bus jerk. Normal. Again the driver breaks , someone bumps into me. Normal. Again, a jerk happens, someone hand is on the same rail I have my arm wrap around and touch me. Normal.
The bus is moving …I feel something light like a fly touch near my neck. At first, I was so into the phone it took a moment for my consciousness to alert me. As I become aware, the feeling was gone. The bus stops and again I feel a light touch , however this time a few quick soft “brushes”. I realize someone is touching my neck on purpose. I am a notorious shades wearer, which is good for bus situations. I was able to see if I was crazy or not without being noticed and in this case I was not crazy.
This is not the first time nor will it be the last someone does this. The first few times, I made a scene. Now I just move myself. In this case I shifted to my left and turn to look at him. He moves his hand from the rail and looks the other way. The end, right? No
He decides to move more in my view by two feet and a half, facing me. He stares at me, for a minute or two then turns around to exit at the stop.
He was an okay looking business suit wearing guy, yet he resorts to such measures on a bus is beyond me. Yet, he is just one of many that do this. When speaking to my girlfriends they all have experience it and the taxi guy who asks if you’re single (luckily, this hasn’t happened to me). If you take a bus from the center to Termini, touchy guys practically live on the bus to touch people; mostly ladies. It happens, be alert and aware. However, from where I work the bus is not a tourist packed region and so to experience this was really unexpected. The moral is people touch on the bus they just do.
Ah, Roma buses. Not sure I miss them as such. As long as it wasn’t 40C I usually walked in Roma. The cobbles going up the hill to where we lived in Monteverde Vecchio were a killer, but esp bad in a rammed bus where one of the other travellers was a v v v smelly man. When I finally reached my stopped, the bus spewed a load of us out, and, in my desperation for fresh air, I jostled an old man who unloaded on me with the full “mortaci tua!”. I lapsed into Anglo-Saxon for my response. I didn’t experience so much neck-touching though…