September 18, 2004

The Way Home

After all the nice lovely space we had on the on the way, we were somewhat perturbed to be transported down the mountain by a totally jam-packed bus containing a large school group of noisy kids and a very obnoxious bus driver. The bus was continuing from Lyon on to Germany, and was equipped with two German bus drivers. The one who was driving was not too bad, but the other one made it his business to be really rude to everyone. He was a young fellow, and obviously had self-esteem issues, as he had reclined the front seat fully, and sat there cockily slouched across it with his legs slung over the front rail.

We are in Chamonix!

Every time the bus stopped he got off and milled around trying to look important while the other driver checked people in. He would come back on the bus whenever he saw someone about to sit in his beloved front seat, or perish the thought - sit behind it.
'This is my seat! I need this seat! I need it to sleep! What are you doing! You can sit somewhere else!', he screeched indignantly.
Not content with harassing people for going near his seat, he refused to let someone take on a small cardboard box, because they had already used up two pieces of hold luggage. The customer was forced to empty the box and ram the contents into one of his existing bags.
By the time MWD (Mister Wanker Driver) got his turn to drive, he was in full swing, and was castigating a passenger because his bag was jutting out into the aisle. 'It must remain clear at all times!' he shouted.
Meanwhile, despite 'NO SMOKING' signs all over the bus, the other, 'more normal' driver merrily smoked a cigarette out of the front window.
Both drivers seemed unable to work the climate control, and the sun beat down on the bus heating it up to a great temperature. By the time we got to Lyon, I had a great headache, and was very glad to be changing buses.

The next bus was driven by the comedy clown duo of English bus drivers. These guys had obviously been called in at short notice, and didn't even have a bus with Eurolines written on it. They made their way merrily through France at breakneck speed, not stopping for any breaks, and not even telling anyone that they weren't stopping for any breaks. They got lost trying to find the bus station in Dijon, and even managed to drive on the wrong side of the road, requiring a hasty reverse. They stopped at random on the hard shoulder for no apparent reason, and appeared to be rather confused as to what they were doing.
Any sleep during the first several hours was ruled out by having a Lord of the Rings film blasting out at an obscene volume, and the bus being unbearably hot, due to yet more inadequacy at working the climate control system. The words 'cowboy bus drivers' sprung to mind.

Like the previous bus, it was totally full, and became unbearably stuffy. Sleep was as rare as gold dust, and we arrived at Victoria Coach Station promising that next time we would take the plane...

Posted by paul at September 18, 2004 07:57 PM