Don't They Feel Ashamed of Themselves?
We were at the terminus and as a bus had just left, there were only the two of us. "We're sure to get good seats," I thought to myself confidently. But soon there was a crowd and nobody seemed to have the least intention of forming a line. In fact everybody was trying to crane forward and soon they were almost standing in the middle of the road so as to be in the best strategic position.
I realized I had been over-optimistic about getting seats. So I said to Granny: "You get on in your own good time, Granny. I'll get on first to find a seat for you. " She was terifified at the idea : "Oh no , you don't ! Never mind about the seat. The important thing is to get on the bus. I'll never manage it by myself. "
Looking at all the young men around us, I realized Granny was right. All the young men had intent faces just like soldiers ready to go into action. And when a bus did finally arrive, everybody rushed forward to meet it so as to be just in front of one of the doors, and people ran along with the bus, keeping as near to a door as possible until finally the bus came to a halt and the doors opened.
The mad scramble that followed defies description. It was almost a free-for-all: people fought, jostled, pushed and elbowed their way forward, accompanied by shouts and curses all around. I had great difficulty in pushing Granny into the bus. I was really afraid that her old bones might crack Had a lot of difficulties in getting on myself too. People behin me pushed, people beside me elbowed, and people in front of m seemed to have formed a block of solid wall.
Actually there wa plenty of roam in the bus. After all the seats had been taken people who got on just stood near the doorway and refused t move in, blocking the way for all those behind who had not ye got on. After what seemed to me to be an eternity of pushin and shouting, all the passengers managed to get on and th doors finally closed.
I looked around, hoping somebody woul have the decency to give up his seat to Granny. But they a seemed to be glued to their seats, those "elegantly" dresse young men and ladies, looking happy and smug, apparentl proud of the fact that they were smart enough to be ahead c everybody else.
After the bus started, Granny began to wobble on her feet and I had to hold her tight to prevent her from falling. "Will someone be kind enough to give the old lady a seat?" The conductress called out several times , meeting no response. Some seemed to have suddenly dozed off, and others seemed to be captivated by something very interesting outside the bus window.
In the end it was a middle-aged lady who stood up and gave Granny her seat. After thanking the lady, I helped Granny sit down and looked at those "elegant" young people again, trying to detect some traces of shame on their faces. But I found none.
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