No tears New Year

30th December 2021

A period of gloom settled over us through the end of December, by which I mean atmospheric gloom.

Which can often lead to a depressive state of mind, particularly in people already prone to end-of-year glums.

Living where I now do, makes this whole period very much easier to ignore. We sailed through Christmas quite happily.

New Year’s Eve had the potential for tears. But why?

It’s just another date on the calendar but it’s hard not to reminisce. For most of the day tears wanted to flow.

All it needed was a trigger. Not so long ago, I would easily have encountered one, but that day I wasn’t able to find an excuse for tears.

Could it be that the tiny change in my anti-depressant medication has made a difference?

Something to check out with my doctor, only I still haven’t been re-assigned one.

Have they forgotten me? I don’t like to pester people, but it’s been…3 months…

Methinks I shall just muddle along for the time being.

During a little excursion in the fog, I captured this image of a school bus emerging from the mist.

Which started me thinking about how, the very first time I caught sight of one of these mustard coloured beasts, they went immediately to my SH1T list.

Yes, I already had one at age 16.

So why would I take against a yellow bus?

They featured daily in my life long after, but my first day in an American High School was where it started.

In the morning, Aunty Kay had dropped me off at the school, but I was to go home on the bus.

Which bus? No-one had thought to tell me and as kids poured out of their classrooms, there seemed to be dozens of them. Who could I ask?

Within a matter of minutes, the buses were loaded up and off they went. It didn’t matter much. I walked home but it was a warm day. My feet and feelings hurt.

It’s a day I don’t often look back on as the whole High School experience was for me, perhaps not a nightmare, but an extremely disturbing dream.

For one thing, I had been bouncing around a series of boarding schools run by Catholic nuns. I had been in a class of some 20 girls. We wore uniforms.

In High School there were hundreds of boys and girls wearing whatever American kids wore in those days.

Boys? The only boy I had spoken to in recent years was my brother, on rare occasions. My few clothes were very conservative.

In Asia, I had been at school with girls from a variety of countries and backgrounds which had been fun.

American High School seniors in 1964 were not the slightest bit interested in one more foreigner, especially one with a hoity-toity accent.

It made me realize what a total non-entity I was!

But what does that have to do with the buses?

After that first ghastly day, I knew what number to look for and found a seat somewhere among my unfriendly classmates. Those rides were not fun.

And also, my uncle used to drive a school bus from time to time. He was always bouncing around different jobs to make ends meet.

Let’s say he and I had “issues.” So anything associated with him gets an automatic demerit.

In 1965 I graduated from the dreadful High School and celebrated being liberated from the school bus.

Then in 1969, I took a job at Kennedy Airport.

And spent the next 38 years riding to and from the staff parking lot in a re-purposed school bus.

Sometimes, when one of them broke down, we got to ride in the kindergarten bus. Wasn’t that fun!

7 thoughts on “No tears New Year

  1. I never rode a school bus. In those school years I always walked to school – I lived near enough. The furthest distance was 1 mile. But our experience with a school bus was in Bangladesh. Our sons rode the school bus to AISD, the American International School Dhaka. The bus was not the traditional yellow bus. I’ll find a picture to show you.

  2. School buses were unknown in my London childhood. I can only imagine the alienation of being transplanted to another country and a different culture, one with that ‘same but very different’ language.. That may well have been character-building, but I was glad I was spared that.
    We have had that strange warm and sunny weather here for three days. Unlike your gloom and fog.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  3. I had 3 years of school in London before we went “abroad” and I always walked, by myself. We went to SE Asia which was very different but it was the USA that was the major culture shock!

Leave a Reply