I worked tonight in a restaurant in town which I am not crazy about. Don’t get me wrong, the food is nice but they are slightly bonkers. More than that, I am quite sure I am being ripped of which doesn’t impress me. Nevermind.
I walked through town at 1 am thinking I’d never get a taxi at Central Station. Far too busy, far too many bars closing, that and it is Halloween weekend so, as much as I’d like to hang out with all the freakies, I don’t want to do it while my feet feel the way they do.
Walked up to the bus station only to find that the busses I want stopped running two hours ago. Lovely. I’m headed over to the taxi rank to try my luck when a rather Glasgow-looking guy in his late twenties calls “excuse me” from a chair along the wall. Instinct tells me to walk away ignorant, so I don’t know why I stopped. He wants to know if I know about the busses. Only the ones I need to use. He lives up my way, so I tell him he’s outta luck unless there’s a bus that I don’t know about, but I doubt it. This is gonna sound really weird, he starts. But I’ve just moved in and I don’t really know how to get home. Do you wanna share a taxi? No thanks mate, I’ll pass. I start to walk away thinking my Granny would faint from sheer horror if she knew I was even speaking to him, never mind thinking about actually going anywhere with him. No, no this isn’t a…you know. I’m not trying to pick you up or anything. he says, knowing how it seems. But then I think, what can possibly happen? I’m in a well-lit bus station. There are people about. Not many, mind you, but there are a few. That, and getting in a taxi with him means there’s a taxi driver. And failing that, Granny has planted her personal alarm in my purse for just such an occasion. Bless her. So I’m safe. And why am I doing this, travelling, if not to have moments just like this?
How did I get so paranoid? People are constantly trying to tell me how bad this city is. How I should carry pepper spray in my purse. Granny has armed me and alarmed, but I just laugh. Maybe it is that bad and i’ve been lucky. Either way, I tell him we’d better hurry up and get one then. There might be a queue.
So we stand in a fairly short line and chat away about his girlfriend moving to Prague, about travelling, about him thinking of working in Dubai, about living in Edinburgh and whether Glasgow is better, about work as he happens to be a graphic designer. about my Granny, about Canada. And we don’t stop talking until he is being dropped off and paying the whole taxi fare for me to get home as well. Funny how that is, how easily I would have normally written him off because he looked like a bit of a ruffian, because he was lurking about a bus station at 1am on a Saturday night, because he’d had a few drinks…
That’ll teach me not to be a snob.