Coming and Going: back from Granada.

We came out into the cold night and stood in the darkness. You could feel the friction between people and everything had lost its easiness. Time was upon us again. Trivia was needed to be done, pointless things seemed necessary to complete. We hated it. Once more, the rat-race.
The bus-stop was empty of buses but filled with people who lingered about, pottering uneasily. There appeared a slight nervousness among them, as if on the brink of war. I remembered that bit in Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia where he mentions ……….
Just then, a large blue coach arrived whereupon the driver got out, closed the doors behind him and strolled off. A vague line formed. Celine and I were somewhere near the front when suddenly I saw a second bus arrive at a bus-stop further down. It was the cheaper bus. I left Celine in order to investigate. The driver sat there, looking absurdly Catalan and fed up. He told me that it was five euros cheaper and leaving in six minutes. He would wait, he told me.
I rushed back to Celine, picked up her bags and rushed back. But as we got close to the bus – the bastard drove off.
Mother fucker, I thought.
‘Well,’ began Celine. ‘We knoe zat we ar bak in Barzaloné, no?’
Oui mate. Fucking oui.
So we walked back to the queue, feeling rather foolish at rushing about and we sorrowfully attempted to re-enter the same position as before. But a middle-aged man with a face like a wet testicle looked horrified and tried to stop me. I thought he was taking the piss and I laughed at/with him. But then he began to truly complain.
Don’t be absurd, I told him. We were barely gone for a minute.
He knew this: he’d seen the whole bus-driving-off ordeal, yet he wasn’t perturbed and was instead absolutely determined to keep his number in line, convinced that we had lost all privilege. And then – surreal as it was, there by the airport bus-stop at night, surrounded by people – he got violent. Out of some wild mania, as Celine tried to get pass and join me in the queue, he pushed her aggressively into the side of the bus and then held out his arm so she couldn’t get by. This was sour.
My guard rose. The situation needed something immediate. So I pulled Celine to her feet and, shoving my face into the Catalan’s fat head, I screamed in English: FUCK OFF, CUNT!
Not my proudest moment, but it got the job done. In fact, this seemed to work remarkably well: the entire queue sank back and let us not only back in the line, but right by the front. A bit of British aggression, I thought, can go along way in a foreign country. Everyone had grown quiet and as we were ushered onto the bus Celine and I sat at the back where none of the other passengers dared seat within an eight-seat radius.
There’s no time for sensitivity once back in ‘civilization.’


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