At 8 o’clock this morning I sat bleary eyed in the waiting room for the InterCity bus station in Auckland. I’d left at ten to seven to catch two buses in and I was sipping on a mocha frappachino in an attempt to wake myself with caffeine. It wasn’t working in the slightest. My massive headphones were on and a McFly selection was playing. A lady with long blonde hair walked into the room and started chatting and laughing with the ladies behind the desk. They started comparing hairstyles and I closed my eyes and listened to the music.
Waiting by the bus to load on the backpack I watched the other passengers, trying to work out who was due to be travelling and who was there to see them off. I guessed correctly for the most part – there’s a weary resignation for those due on a 5 and a half hour bus trip. There were some wry smiles and sniggers as our driver came up to open up the bus – it was the same blonde lady from the waiting room.
She put the bags in the hold, checked our names and destinations off her list and we boarded the bus.
After leaving Auckland the driver introduced herself as Rachael and explained the rules of the bus and that she would be giving us an occasional commentary as we drove along. She told us that she wanted to clear up the misconception that many people have about bus drivers being moody and miserable. It’s more a case of being efficient and assertive, because there are working time regulations that they have to follow and being prompt is an important part of that. She said that she’s a little different but no-one in the world is the same, even identical twins are different so it’s actually normal to be different.