Out into London I go on the iconic red bus to observe, write, and also grocery shop.
As a New Yorker, my first instinct was to take the tube and stick to the tube only. While the buses in NYC are plentiful, they are painfully slow compared to the subway. However, I’ve found that Londoners are huge bus-riders, and with the task to take a bus ride from start to finish on my hands, it was time that I learn how to take the bus. What I can say is that while traffic is not as painful as New York City traffic, there is still plenty of it to go around.
I took my bus ride in the middle of the day, and luckily, I also needed to pick a few things up from Tesco, which happened to be on the bus route. The first advantage of the bus over the tube is the fact that you get a free tour! (Well for £1.50 or an Oyster travelcard) I was very oriented with looking outside of the window, as I managed to score a seat near the window. I passed by Harrod’s, Kensington Palace, and streets and streets of shops and bustling people.
One of the many things I’m beginning to love about London is the beauty of just the buildings. I could look at buildings all day. And that’s what I did on the bus. The passengers were quiet, as it was only midday on a Monday, but that was nice. It was nice to sit on a bus with thirty other people and look out at the streets of London as an outsider. At one point a pair of elderly ladies sat behind me and discussed a scone recipe that they wanted to try next time they got the energy to bake. That had me smiling for the rest of my trip, because it felt so incredibly English that my little American heart could not take it.
I do find myself more drawn to the bus now, but then I remember the traffic and think of the sweet fast tracks of the tube again!