I can still remember the yellow magic school bus. The kids, the teacher, the chalkboard, and obviously, the bus that can go literally anywhere. The catchy theme song is still fresh in my head.
The life of a driver – 2 hands on the wheel, 2 eyes focused on the road, one foot on the accelerator (and of course, on the brake if necessary). Some more about that life? Some pointless conversations with passengers who need someone to talk to, someone who forgot to press the doorbell on time and wants you to drop him off in-between stops, passengers who violently threatens you randomly, and so on and so forth. The list of things to do goes on. Apart from all that, the driver is in his or her own world. The wheel, the pedals, and the road. There is no need to even focus on updating the fare stages anymore as the automated GPS-linked software does everything (I think).
On a particular day, the bus was so crowded that I couldn’t move in anymore. Instead of facing the mad crowd in front of me, I turned 180 degrees and faced the expansive glass windscreen. I leaned as close to the driver seat as possible without creeping the driver out (looking at the photo above, I don’t think that I leaned that closely anyway).
So…I imagined myself in that seat, piloting this bus towards the next assigned destination – the upcoming bus stop. Jabbing two fingers on the buttons just beside the steering column, the entrance and exit doors swiftly open with a whoosh. Passengers get on, passengers get off. With another whoosh, the doors close. Onward to the next assigned destination – stage X + 0.5.
This childhood ambition, though made when I was much younger then, still lives silently at a dark, disused corner in my head. One day, one day, I shall get the chance to fulfil that. Maybe not a bus, but a cab. Not a cab, maybe a 6-carriage train. One day, I don’t know when, but one day, I shall.