'Bus training' by Tina Kelly

Buses are for travel and to use a bus

I had to learn:

where the bus stops are

(my buses are the 43 and 40);

how to stop the bus (I put my thumb out);

to use a bus pass

(I keep it in my coat pocket all the time);

to ask for a single or return

(from Shire Green to Sea Mills Square);

to put the pass in the machine;

to take the ticket from the driver

and wait for him to print the pass;

to remember to take the pass out of the machine

(it goes back in my coat pocket);

to take a seat (I like to sit down in the back

where the seats are bigger, where I can see the people

getting on and off the bus: I like people-watching);

to ring the bell to stop the bus

(I wait for the stop before mine

and when the driver moves off.....

I ring the bell in the ceiling on a long black strip);

to wait in my seat ’til the bus stops

And then I’m off.

But one day, on a Thursday it was,

I got on the 43, I gave the driver the bus pass

There was £8 something left on it

But he said: Get off the bus.

He opened the door, said: Fuck off.

When he said that I got off

I was right upset

I reported it but I don’t know what happened

No-one taught me about nasty bus drivers

No-one taught me about rudeness; language from the gutter

It put me off using the buses again

I learnt that people don’t like the colour of my hair

Don’t like who I am

I learnt people treat you like dirt if you are disabled

I’ve learnt about people

Some are good, some are bad

But that driver’s rotten all the way through.