My place of work is just one bus-ride away from where I live. I take the 345 or 49 bus and these are normally red double decked buses. Like anybody else, I am very particular in choosing a seat when I’m on board. My favourite seat is the front seat on the upper level. It makes my travel less boring.
However, during peak hours, I tend to take the elderly, disabled or ‘passengers with children’ seat.
Where I come from, we have a custom that I am very proud of. Men offer their seats to women — the more able to the less able, the young to the elderly, the old to the very young. If you don’t offer your seat to those who need it more than you do, you will instantly feel a sense of guilt. I will call it an ‘inherent sense of social responsibility’.
When I came to this country, especially in London, I did not see this trait very often. Not all ‘more able’ individuals are willing to offer their seats. There was an instance when I had to offer my seat to a pregnant lady because nobody, from the men around him, would do it. I saw an old woman (with swollen legs) squeezed in between passengers and nobody would even assist her! I was at the end of the bus and I cannot reach out to help her. I was heartbroken to see such a picture!
So from then on, I decided to take the best seats. So that when the same situation arises, I am in a good position to help. I could either move at the end of the bus, go to the upper level or stand. I hope you will do the same.
(By the way, I haven’t been home for almost three years now. I really wish that when I go home, the custom is still there.)