Have you been dealing with elderly people in Cluj? Because I sure did. It is a social approved fact that their age doesn’t count when it comes to their seat on the bus. I was waiting for the bus in a station, a group of elders were waiting on the bench as well as the bus approached, the group got in position, stepped up and waited for the bus to stop, they weren’t friends anymore, the quest for finding a seat in that bus was on.
It was on! Oh boy, was I in for a big surprise, as the bus stopped people that were in the bus wanted to exit but they were constantly pushed and jostled by the elders, the old people even passed me by. How naïve of me, of wanting to get inside and waiting for the ones that are already inside and wanting to get outside to exit the bus. Apparently, according to our elders, it is important to catch a seat, by any means necessary. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to make fun of them, I’m just pointing out, what it seems to become a legitimate sport or a phenomenon.
One day, while being on a crowded bus, I get pushed around by an old women that wanted to get out, so I said to her, that I’m about to exit it as well, but she kept pushing me while saying that she doesn’t care and that she wants to be the first to exit the bus, so she kept pushing through the crowd until she reached the doors. I don’t think I’m the only one that witnessed this phenomenon, I think that most of the elders have learned the techniques of survival on their own, they know how to use their weaknesses to their advantage, making themselves look fragile and exhausted in order to obtain the prize. Although most of them seem to have time to ‘hit’ the beauty salon and dye their hair, eyebrows or whatever. What I’m trying to say is that they look better groomed than us, because they have time and they have free bus rides, so that’s that.
I really don’t have anything against them, but I can admit that what they are already doing is turning out to be the routine of almost every elder in Cluj. The fight for the seats in buses is a constant one, and they can push and jostle anyone who is standing in their way. I have to admit also that this practice is quite overwhelming, in the sense that it stirred some desire of reaching for the seats for myself.
If we don’t pay attention, we might end up to be joining the herd, and be a part of it, I mean, I’ve had some problems relaxing, after the bus has reached my station. The first time I did it for fun, just to see the look on their face when I reach the seat first, but from there on, it was pure competition. I have to admit, the prize is really nice, having to look on everyone that has to stay up on the bus.