The joys of London on a Saturday night (aka night bus woes!)

Friends on Twitter may have seen my slight ranting at 11.30 through to 3am on Saturday night the other night – I was coming home from a week in Rome, and had a pretty disastrous trip home from the airport – I thought I’d share. (this is actually copied from a really quick email I sent a friend, when she asked about what had happened).


At the airport, in the queue for the gate, I got chatting to the couple in front of me, and we became quite friendly. We sat together on the flight, and there they told me that at the airport, there’d been a fight. They’d been waiting in the departure lounge and wanted to sit down, and when a seat became available, the girl sat down, and soon after the seat next to her became free, so the guy went to sit down.


But some old guy next to the seat wouldn’t let him, tried to put his bag on the seat, and then actually put his hand around my friend’s (lets call him my friend) throat, so in self defense my friend pushed the man away, but caught him on the eyebrow, and blood started pouring everywhere and the police got involved, they had to rewatch the CCTV and wanted my friend to press charges against the old man. My friend said no, and that he wanted to just get on the flight and get home.


Then on the plane, it was Ryanair so no reserved seating, and the seats in front of us were empty so some couple sat down, but then these Italian guys who’d been standing a few rows ahead came running back, saying “no no no! We reserved those seats, put our bags down” – but the couple were like “nope, the air steward said we could sit here, so we are.  Here’s your bag.”


So another scuffle broke out, this time on the plane, with shouting and swearing and arguing. Then when we landed, the Italian guys (who had ended up sitting a few rows ahead) had to come back for their bags they’d stowed overhead where we were sitting. They were staring at the couple in front of us, just muttering under the breath, while waiting to come back to get their bags. Except, my friend, who is apparently INCREDIBLY possessive over his girlfriend, thought the Italians were staring at his gf, so he started arguing with them, with more shouting and swearing and challenges and scuffling.




So then we get to the passport control, and theres the biggest queue, and I have about 10 minutes to get to the train (Stansted Express), I make it just in time, but then find out its the last train, and doesn’t go to my stop – so I had to go to Liverpool Street. My ticket is a return to Tottenham Hale (a stop earlier than Liverpool Street) and the ticket inspector is being really strict with tickets – but, thankfully, he lets me off with my current ticket.


Get to Liverpool Street at 1.30am, we’re the last train in, so everything is closed, and we have to leave through some crappy little side exit. Come out, and using Google maps, I start trying to get a night bus home. I walk for a few minutes (in the freezing cold, wearing just a dress) and get to the bus stop, and there are signs saying this bus isn’t stopping here anymore.


So I had to find another bus, I schlepp around for 15 minutes in the cold in a dress with no coat, get to another bus stop and wait for the bus. When it arrives, heading into central London, it’s full of drunk people, and the only space I can get is next to some racist Polish chav’s, who stand swearing the entire journey and slurring racist rubbish.


Finally get to Soho, then walk for 10 mins to get another night bus, the oh-so glorious 29. This bus is notorious. The bus is packed full of drunk people, some guy offers to help me with his suitcase, I’m really grateful and take the seat next to him at the front so I’m near my suitcase. Good, right? Turns out he’s crazy. He spends the whole journey talking to himself, shouting at people, shouting at the driver, just insane.


Then we get to Camden – the worst place in the world at 2am on a Saturday night.


SO many drunk people get on, with food and booze, its ridiculous. A group of 4 girls get on, all clearly already pissed off. One of the girls wants to pay for her and her friend’s ticket (£2.30 a piece or thereabouts) but she only has small coins, so spends a long time counting it all out. During this time, the crazy man next to me continues shouting at everyone. They end up sitting on the stairs cos the bus is so packed, and they get angry every time someone wants to go downstairs.


Then… this is the worst part…


About 10 minutes later, some guy is coming down the stairs, to get off at his stop, and halfway down the stairs he stops, and pauses… and then… he’s sick.


He projectile vomits down the stairs of the bus.


All over the stairs, all over the girls, and all over their food, their hair, their faces.


They go ballistic, and one of them starts throwing her chips everywhere – chips with vomit on them.


And another starts throwing her packet of chips with ketchup all over.


So then everyone else starts shouting and jostling cos we’re now all covered in ketchup and vomit and there are chips everywhere. Everyone is screaming and arguing, and slipping and sliding cos the floor is wet and gross.


There are more fights, more drunk people get on, a massive muscular guy gets on with his girlfriend who is carrying her shoes in her arms – she starts slipping and sliding, and the guy starts shouting at his girlfriend to “HOLD ON TO THE RAIL!” but he himself doesn’t hold on, and he slips and falls over onto my foot that was broken last year, he ends up standing on my foot for far too long, so then I start screaming in pain and trying to push him off me, he doesn’t register whats going on, and my foot is swollen and throbbing.


Get to my stop, and I cant get off cos its too crowded, so I nearly knock someone out with my bag


Get home at 3am. knackered and grumpy.


most ridiculous journey home, took 3 and a half hours, it was awful.


  1. Alex

    Wow. As bad as things can get here in Bristol, I’ve never seen anything even half as bad as this. Sounds dreadful.

    Also a suitable reminder that no matter how frustrating IE7 bugfixing can be, there are definitely worse jobs out there – like being a night bus driver. I bet that’s not the first time that the driver has seen someone’s projectile vomit down the stairs…

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