Social Question

TheOnlyException's avatar

Would you think me odd if I sat at a bus stop and I wasn't waiting for a bus?

Asked by TheOnlyException (2182points) May 3rd, 2010

Just wondering. Often I sit at a bus stop if there isn’t a bench nearby and I just want to sit and watch the world go by.
Or if there is no peace and quiet for revision I leave the house earlier in the morning before college and sit at the bus stop with a shelter near there and read through my notes. I don’t do this if it’s too busy of course Because it is so calm and quiet and I love the area around my college, very green and lush.

But as a passer by would this strike you as odd? Or would you not care. I don’t want to freak people out hence I will not be sitting in a balaclava and hoodie, but what would you think? Do you have similar ‘quirky’ if it can be so called that behaviour at times? For good reason?

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53 Answers

Nullo's avatar

I would have no way of knowing. :\

TheOnlyException's avatar

@Nullo I meant if you saw me there every day and/or for long periods of time?

thriftymaid's avatar

As a passerby, how would I know if you were waiting for a bus or not? Even if I knew, I would probably think little of it.

DarkScribe's avatar

Back in the eighties, there was an old guy who lived near my workplace who would come out of his apartment with a folding chair and a small folding table. He had a thermos of something – tea or coffee I presume. He would place his thermos, cup, cigarettes and ashtray on the little table, and sit against the wall and drink and smoke while watching people walk past. He did this for several hours everyday.

TheOnlyException's avatar

@poofandmook ahaha life is like a box of chock-er-lates would much prefer to be sitting there with chocolates than mathematics notes.. :(
haha thanks for that

TheOnlyException's avatar

@DarkScribe wow. Did this never worry you or anyone in the local neighbourhood, or did people just have better things to do?

gailcalled's avatar

This would not be at the top of the list of things I think about or find interesting. Besides, we have neither buses nor bus stops here.

DarkScribe's avatar

@TheOnlyException _Did this never worry you or anyone in the local neighbourhood, _

No, he was a part of the community. When he died there was a notice in the local coffee shop and a lot of people placed flowers where he used to sit. They had become used to him and missed him.

Fyrius's avatar

I don’t think anyone will even pay enough attention to you to notice you never get on a bus. I wouldn’t worry.

Nullo's avatar

@TheOnlyException I would think that you were a regular bus patron who had a horrible sense of timing.

JLeslie's avatar

I might wonder why you sit their every day if I saw you there every day. If other people could not sit, because you were sitting, I might think it a little thoughtless of you not to sit somewhere else maybe. But, if that was the only place to sit outside within a reasonable distance to where you live, I think it is just fine overall. If buses stopped because you were there, which otherwise might pass the stop, then that might be a negative also. But, it is a public bench in the end.

Seaofclouds's avatar

I honestly wouldn’t think anything of it unless you looked like you were up to something. Just sitting calmly, reading your notes, or just enjoying your surroundings wouldn’t really cause me to take notice.

KeithWilson's avatar

If I saw you there often enough to realize that you dont have any intention of riding the bus, that you were just using the stop as a place of leasure, I might think it to be a bit quirky, but not malicious or dangerous in any way. I would take note, but probably wouldnt mind. I dont even think that the regular passengers would mind.

wonderingwhy's avatar

There was a homeless guy who wandered near by and did that quite a bit; he slept at a local homeless shelter but during the day, he was always out rain or shine. He had two or three different stops he’d frequent along with a couple park benches. If you happened upon him he’d just strike up a conversation, talk about the weather, recent headlines, and the like. He just liked to chat, people watch, and stay connected. I guess he felt that was a convenient and non-threatening way to do so. He wasn’t really odd in my opinion – it was just what he did. After he died, it was pretty remarkable how many people noticed his absence – enough that a small memorial fund was collected and given to the shelter. I haven’t thought about him in years, thanks for the GQ.

So to directly answer your question; I’d consider you odd only in the most general sense of the practice being unusual, otherwise, not at all.

Coloma's avatar

Not at all.

Eckhart Tolle the author of ‘The Power Of Now’ and other ‘spiritual’ works dropped out of a promising academic career at Cambridge and spent 2 years sitting on park benches in bliss after undergoing some major shifts in consciousness.

Just mesmerized in his beingness.

Everyone thoguht him crazy…lol

Some years later he wrote of his awakenings, was down to his last few dollars and his book was picked up and became an overnight sensation.

A pretty good kinda crazy I’d say.

I can sit for hours just basking in my beingness…it’s a good thing ;-)

wundayatta's avatar

We all seem to be the center of our own worlds. In those worlds, we are certain everyone is watching our every move. So yes, everyone who passes you by is secretly casting sideways looks at you, wondering who this man sitting on the bench at the bus stop is. Why does he never get on the bus? What are those papers he is looking at? Is he a spy? Is he a terrorist? Should we alert the police?

The sad thing is that we wonder these things. About what others think of us, not about the strange little man and his papers. We can be inhibited (well, not @Coloma) by the thoughts of what others think. Why can’t you sit there, happily, unworried about what others think? Why do I spend so much time trying to please people while remaining myself at the same time? Why do I want so much to know what others think?

Well, perhaps you want to save yourself some trouble. Perhaps I have a need to organize people for some purpose. Who really knows? I doubt if anyone really knows, so their opinions and thoughts…. are neither here nor there.

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

It wouldn’t strike me ass odd, but you’ll have to get used having the bus stopping in front of you because the bus driver thinks you’re waiting for it.

For real, you’d have to do something pretty absurd in public to get most people to notice your behavior as “odd”.

TheOnlyException's avatar

@Nullo I would think that you were a regular bus patron who had a horrible sense of timing.
haha that made me chuckle :)

@DarkScribe That’s lovely how he came to be a recognised and missed member of the local community for something as simple as sitting and watching.

@JLeslie you make a good list of pros and cons. It is a public bench after all I suppose, and since it is a request stop, the bus would not stop needlessly, and it wont be busy at 7am I am sure! hehe :)

@Coloma That’s fascinating! I never heard of him, might look a into him a bit, am planning to have major shifts in my consciousness come time to apply to uni hehe ;)

@Captain_Fantasy nah its a request stop, bus driver wont give a damn unless I stick my hand out and even then theres only a 75% chance they’ll stop haha

Thanks for all your answers. :)

CMaz's avatar

A place to sit is a place to sit.

Berserker's avatar

I pay no mind to people sitting around, whatever the reason, so you wouldn’t stand out for me anymore than the rest even if you were waiting for the second coming.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

I wouldn’t think anything of it. It’s really not a big deal…

HungryGuy's avatar

Probably. There’s a guy I know who’s sometimes at the bus stop when I’m waiting for the bus to go home. He stands there talking to himself (sometimes even has loud, heated, and physically animated arguments with himself), and occasionally curses and gives the finger to passing traffic. I don’t know if he untimately finds a bus that he likes and gets on, but luckily it’s not the one I ride…

DarkScribe's avatar

@Symbeline so you wouldn’t stand out for me anymore than the rest even if you were waiting for the second coming.

You sure about that? (Many people waiting for their second coming are not overly blessed with clothing.)

YARNLADY's avatar

It’s very common in our neighborhood, especially if the bus stop is in the shade. We have so many retirement homes here, no one would think twice about it.

msbauer's avatar

I have a fun/interesting story about people not waiting for a bus at a bus stop…

I heard this story about an assisted-living home for older adults suffering from Alzheimer’s. Apparently, they were having a problem with people wandering away from the facility during bouts of forgetfulness with an urgent need to go somewhere, as if they were late for an important appointment. (A common behavioral symptom of dementia is people thinking they are themselves years ago. They think they’re in the wrong place and need to get home for important business.) Consequently, they would have to go retrieve these people and found that oftentimes they were at bus stops or railroad stations, places of transportation, trying to “get home.” Obviously this is dangerous for these people so they had the truly genius idea to build their own bus stop…a fake bus stop located just outside the home…to which no bus would ever come. So whenever someone escaped, they’d check at the bus stop and almost certainly would find a lost, little old person there.

Now that’s some clever thinking! (Btw, I heard this story on NPR’s free podcast RadioLab, and I highly recommend it to everyone! It mostly has science-related topics, but they make it very accessible and enjoyable for all people.)

Coloma's avatar


Awwww….bless their little confused hearts, thats very cool!

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

From a utilitarian standpoint, it’d be wasteful if people didn’t sit on it.
So really, it’s a green move.

OneMoreMinute's avatar

Only if I knew you were actually waiting for a train.

Sophief's avatar

If you want to sit at bus stops, then you do that. I wouldn’t think you odd, but then again I wouldn’t think you weren’t waiting for a bus, unless I asked you, and I wouldn’t ask you.

TheOnlyException's avatar

@HungryGuy aahah i dont plan on doing anything like that :)

TheOnlyException's avatar

@OneMoreMinute ahaha that made me laugh :)
@Sophief Fair point :)

OneMoreMinute's avatar

@TheOnlyException And then again, you just might get penalized for unoficial bus stop use.
Watch out for those Holy Bus Stop Police Angels!

TheOnlyException's avatar

@OneMoreMinute ahahaha nah Im looking to get arrested for something much cooler than ‘unofficial bus stop use’
like… feeding the pigeons.

poofandmook's avatar

@TheOnlyException: Did you see The Office when Michael was depressed after his roast and he was throwing whole pieces of white bread in the middle of winter yelling “CAW! CAW!” and no birds came? lol!

HungryGuy's avatar

@TheOnlyException – Oh, I meet all kinds of whackos waiting for buses! A few months ago, I started taking a different bus route to work. As I approached that bus stop for the first time, some guy started waving vigouously in my direction. I didn’t think anything of it, but noticed there was nobody else around me at all. When I got to the bus stop, I said, “Good morning, Who were you waving at?” (In my neighorhood, it’s perfectly normal for strangers to say “Good morning” and chat with each other at bus stops). He said he was waving at me. Talking to him, I could tell he was obviously retarded (or mentally challenged to be Politically Correct). On the bus, he would do the same thing. Whever the bus passed a group of people walking down the sidewalk or a work crew in the street, he’d stand up in the bus and vigorously wave to them like he’s everyone’s best friend. Odd, but harmless. Every monrning, I’d make idle chat with him waiting for the bus, the weather, and stuff. One day, I asked him if he’d ever had lunch in a few places in the neighborhood. He said, “I don’t feel like talking,” and clammed up. Ever since then, he avoided my like the plague. Whenever I approached the bus stop in the morning, he’d vacate the bus stop and wait about 20 or 30 feet away, even in the rain. Part of me wanted to approach him and clear up the misunderstanding—but part of me thought if he wants to act like a nut-case, it’s his problem. Then about a week ago, I haven’t seen him at all in the morning. I’m relieved, but… What’d I say?!?! What’d I say?!?!

DarkScribe's avatar

@HungryGuy I’m relieved, but… What’d I say?!?! What’d I say?!?!

Maybe he has had a problem with a restaurant of cafe – many such people do. He might have been thrown out or embarrassed in some other way and thought that you were making oblique reference to such an incident.

TheOnlyException's avatar

@poofandmook ahahah no! which season was that?? I watched one last night where Phyllis got flashed by a guy in the parking lot and Dwight accidentally called her ‘Phallus’ love that show!

@HungryGuy maybe he is really touchy talking about meals? haaha sounds like a real oddball!

poofandmook's avatar

@TheOnlyException: ROFL I just watched the flashing episode last week! I have all the seasons on DVD. It’s season 5 and it’s called “Stress Relief”

TheOnlyException's avatar

@poofandmook have to see that one! I love The Office, Steve Carell is bloody brilliant! I love when, I cant remember which one it is, Jim sets up a fence of pencils between his and Dwights desks Your pencils are creating a health hazard. I could fall and pierce an organ. ROFL

HungryGuy's avatar

@TheOnlyException – The funny thing is I was a klutz at sports in school, and thus I was despised by bullies around the world. So I sort’a know what that retarded guy feels like sometimes. On the bus, people talked to him like they were talking to a baby. I tried to talk to him like one adult to another, and he goes all nutso on me. Oh well…

HungryGuy's avatar

And then there’s the drunk guy. He sometimes rides the bus early in the morning—nobody has ever seen him not in a state of total inebriation. Normally he seems pretty harmless, though one time I remember he cursed everyone off loudly as he was getting off the bus because of some perceived slight, like someone didn’t say “good morning” to him or something. I’d heard one time, the driver had to radio in to the dispatcher to get the police to take him off the bus; fortunately, I wasn’t on that particular bus.

TheOnlyException's avatar

@HungryGuy wow what is public transport like in your area?! hahaha, sounds mad :p
The worst I have had happen to me is sitting at a bus stop and having a whole gang of ‘rowdy youths’ turn up in hooded shirts etc and start mouthing off at each other, just being all intimidating and me sitting there on my own at about 11pm thinking shit where’s my mace?
Then when the bus finally came, they let me on first, doing the whole after you bit, and when my bus pass didn’t work and I had no money they paid my fare for me, said it was no problem.
Hahaha that was more of a shock than anything really. :)

HungryGuy's avatar

@TheOnlyException – Mass transit is actually pretty good in my area. I guess we just have more than our fair share of looney toons…

TheOnlyException's avatar

@HungryGuy variety is the spice of life eh ;)

gailcalled's avatar

@TheOnlyException: Thyme to make the donuts now.

TheOnlyException's avatar

@gailcalled Oreganolly they were bagels

gailcalled's avatar

@TheOnlyException: Gotta run; someone’s cumin in.

TheOnlyException's avatar

@gailcalled Oh fine, curry on then

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