I think public transport should be free. People should be able to get on any kind of bus or tram or train for any distance they want and not have to figure out fares and tarif areas. I think free public transport would make the world a better place.
(I personally hate taking the bus but only because I am too impatient to wait at bus stops. But I know I could sort this out if I ever have to stop cycling for good. At least I hope so.)
Because this gentle river valley has been struck by a sudden and unprecedented mini blizzard I find myself on a crowded bus today. Ah yes, the smells. The clusters of school kids. The nasty elderly ladies forcing school kids to give up their seats so they can sit down and file their nails.
Opposite me a beautiful young man is reading the Quran, his head bent over the tiny book, his voice a quiet murmur. People stare and try not to stare. This doesn't happen every day. His cell phone rings (a faint gong like ringtone) and we watch him listen to an agitated female voice. He bravely tries to get a word in but is constantly interrupted, no luck. In the end he offers a couple of yes, yes, see you noises and as he puts down the phone he notices his little audience. He blushes and explains, my mum. And we respond with a nod and a chorus of ach so, and now he smiles and so do we.