I spent a good deal of my time in Reading and not in London. I must say, with the exception of the rude and intolerable Pakistani bus driver, the people in Reading were a breath of fresh air. Granted, most of the people hanging around during the day were in their twilight years since Reading is a commuter city, with the chunk of the people commuting into evil London for work. It was funny. During the day, loads of pensioners and empty bars and restaurants. It was truly a bit surreal. At one point, I felt like there were definitely more stores and shops than there were people. We went into a pub – what was clearly the busiest pub on the waterfront – and there were 2 other people in there. In the evening! A far cry from the sweaty underarm crowds and throngs of London.
But everyone was super polite. Every single person got off the bus and thanked the bus driver. The rare young person got up to give up their seats. There was no loud, annoying passenger or aggravating teenagers. Of course, the rude Pakistani driver tainted the idyllic paradise that was Reading. I got on the bus and quickly realized it did not have the bus stop monitor which usually signals what the next stop would be. Not being from Reading, and on a solo adventure, I had no clue where I was going and simply asked this gem of a driver to stop when he got to Stop X. Oh but this was too hard…he could not do that and made a grand production of it. The nice lady who got on the bus acknowledged his universal stupidity and kindly offered to tell me when I was approaching my stop. The only profanity on the bus at that point came from me as I had to let him know what I thought of him. Nothing too caustic, I promise. Lol
Still…Reading. It’s no London!!