Est-ce que vous aimez le hiver? Non, je n’aime pas le hiver.
Do you like winter? No, I don’t like winter.
That’s the question la professeure français loves to ask me, just for kicks – to get me to answer as above, and I indulge her.
But that was winter, and it’s time to put that aside; for now, it’s springtime! The city has finally thawed, its people have come to life; each competing in the latest game of “Who Can Wear Less Clothes in Today’s Temperature?” (9°C today, in case you’re wondering, and yes, some people are wearing t-shirts, shorts and flip-flops). The sun is shining, and there’s a general atmosphere of joy and goodwill in the air.
As I mentioned in yesterday’s blog entry, I took the bus (but got distracted by that unpleasant incident in winter, when really, I should have been celebrating spring). I was running a little late, and so ended up taking a later bus than usual. When I boarded the bus, it was driven by a bus driver I had never met before (yes, the bus schedule here is so on-the-dot regular that we know exactly who will be driving which bus, when). He was in the middle of a merry conversation with two elderly ladies, happily on their way to a bingo game. At the next stop, the ladies got down to transfer to the bus behind us, and our bus driver radio-ed over to ask the other driver to “wait for the ladies rushing to their bingo game”, to delighted chuckles from fellow passengers all around. Then we rumbled along, coming to our usual pause at the downtown transfer point. While waiting for transfer passengers, a toddler came running towards the front door of our bus, Harried Mummy chasing closely behind, admonishing him, “No, that’s not your bus”, to which our jolly dear bus driver replied, “Oh, yes it is. Let him up.”, and proceeded to hoist the boy, by now squealing with glee, up to perch at the driver’s seat, and helped the young tot to toot the bus’ horn. Harried Mummy gasped her unbelieving appreciation, “You’re such a lucky boy!”, and our young superhero gurgled with delight, charming all the passengers on board as we all let out a simultaneous sigh of, “Awww, that’s so cute…”. What a difference attitude makes! I’m glad I ran a little late and got to partake in the joy of the jolly bus driver who makes everyone’s day just that lil’ bit happier.
As if to crown it all off, mother nature decided to send us a special present – sun dogs, as I learnt from the lady next to me – a winter light display that looks like pieces of a rainbow (I know, I know, you’re thinking: “Didn’t she just claim it’s spring now?!” Well nature doesn’t switch every part of the seasons exactly on 21 March the way humans do, right? Can you concentrate on the “looks like pieces of a rainbow” part already?!). So anyhow, you can be sure the whole busload of us ooh-ed and aah-ed over the lovely sight, as if we were a busload of tourists gawking at one of the wonders of the world (and it sure is!) instead of regular travel-weary commuters. It’s all about perspective eh? What more can you ask of a day?