Most Startlingly Thing You Ever Saw on Public Transportation

garnetsilver

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Loved your story Debi! I am one of those people who actually enjoy flying. My first flight was at age 17, and I was surely gripping that seat, especially when we hit air pockets. But then I got to fly four more times, and the last time I took a flight, about 19 years ago, I was eagerly peering out the window, trying to see down as far as I could, to the horror of the two passengers on my right.
 

Stevedog

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I have been on 3 flights in my lifetime. I hate flying...actually, I fear planes. So! With that said, coming home from a visit with my son in Florida, I boarded my last plane flight in my usual petrified mode. It was an evening flight and after take off the two young men seated behind me took note of how hard I was still gripping the seat and the fact the flight attendant stopped by three times to reassure me.

I was seated by a window in a row all to myself. I suddenly felt a tap on my shoulder, and I turned in my seat to see these two guys grinning at me. "Ma'am," said the blonde, "we noticed you're a little concerned. It's OK. We're here for ya." They introduced themselves from a town not far from me. Both had quite the southern drawl which led to the fact they grew up in Alabama. Which then led to them telling me all about their first trip to Florida, which was made on a whim and the clothes on their backs. I was in stitches from their adventures.

They then told me their "big plan" about a purchase they had made in Florida. They bought a parachute and had plans to deploy it while driving their ATV as fast as they could to see what would happen. I kinda watched the news for weeks for reports of anyone landing in the hospital from something like this. Those two young guys made a fearful lady's flight go very quickly!
My wife also has a fear of flying. Several years ago we went on a flight with the kids. My son was right about 12 months and my daughter was about to be 4 years old. As both needed car seats and the plane didn't have rows of 4 seats side by side I ended up sitting with my son in one row and my wife sat with my daughter in a nearby row. That was a mistake. As soon as the plane started to taxi to the run way I head my wife tell my daughter. "Don't worry. Don't worry! There's absolutely nothing to be afraid of!!! DON'T BE SCARED!! EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE OKAY!!!"

After we landed my wife said that my daughter must hate flying as well because she was scared and nervous the entire flight. I suggested we switch on the flight home so I would sit with our daughter instead. She seemed to enjoy that flight much better.
 

Lynne

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Not sure if call it "startling" but I did witness an exchange once on a bus they was very unexpected.

When I was commuting to downtown Denver for work I took the bus. My usual routine was to get on, sit down and pull out a book to read while waiting for the rest of the passengers to board. One day there were two Asian men in suits who decided to stand in the aisle rather than sit down in any of the open seats. This was not too unusual as the buses were usually full enough at that time of day that people ended up standing as the seats were all taken. Some people just opted to stand as they would likely end up giving their seat to someone else anyway.

However, on this day these two men weren't simply standing while waiting for other passengers to board, they were standing in the way of passengers trying to get to the empty seats in the back of the bus. I saw this and thought it was quite rude to simply stand there and block others.

A woman politely said "excuse me" as she approached them but they didn't move or even appear to notice. In a slightly louder voice with firmer tone she repeated "Excuse Me" and added "Can I get past you?" This time the men did seem to hear her as they turned, gave her a look then went back to their conversation which I couldn't understand as it was in an Asian language that I don't speak. From where I was sitting they looked more annoyed by her request than anything.

At this point I put my book away and stood up to go confront these two. My intent was to go into Army Sergeant mode and ask them to move in a tone that they would understand that I wasn't really asking.

I quickly saw that I wasn't alone as two other gentleman had stood up at the same time I did and were looking right at these two also. One was a white guy, a bit bigger than me and dressed in a manner that looked like he worked a blue collar job. The other looked like a college student, he was a black kid dressed a bit like Will Smith in the Fresh Prince tv show and had been listening to music through these overly large headphones that looked like what a DJ at a club would wear. The kid was the smallest of us three but also the closest. Me and Blue Collar stood where we were and let the kid go first. I'm not sure what the other guy was thinking but I was expecting these two to blow off the kid the same way they did the woman so I was still ready to move in if needed.

What I was definitely not expecting was this kid to start speaking to these guys in the same foreign language they were speaking. They turned and said something back to him to which he replied by motioning to the rest of the bus then pointing at them and said something in a tone that sounded like he was scolding children. The two men lowered their heads and hurried to the very back of the bus. The kid then turned to the woman, apologized to her then sat back down and put his headphones back on.

Of all the people on the bus that day that kid was not the one I was expecting to hear speak in fluent, I'm guessing Cantonese.
This was a good one.
 

RoseRed

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I was on the top deck of an empty bus in Manchester once. Of course, the one other person to get on was a drunk (I assume) and, of course, he made a beeline for me and sat next to me, pinning me between him and the window. That was bad enough, but then he turned to me and asked: "Are you a fisherman?" :oops:

I had to spend the whole journey with him so I steadfastly pretended I was deaf and stared out of the window the entire time.
 
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RoseRed

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Just remembered what happened once when I was on a flight back from the States. The man in the seat next to me was dressed like a cowboy, complete with stetson and bootlace tie. He also spoke with an American accent.

We got chatting a little and it turned out that he was into horses, big time. He'd just spent an extended period of time in Montana doing trick roping and other Western style riding events. Turns out he was somewhat of a professional. Now, I had only ever ridden English style so I was fascinated. We chatted for a long time about the pros and cons of each style and he even gave me the details of a Western riding school where I could go to have lessons on American Quarter horses in the UK.

We were nearly back at Heathrow when I asked him where he was from. You could have knocked me down with a feather when he told me he was not only a Brit, born and bred, but he lived just up the road from me!
 
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Debi

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I was on the top deck of an empty bus in Manchester once. Of course, the one other person to get on was a drunk (I assume) and, of course, he made a beeline for me and sat next to me, pinning me between him and the window. That was bad enough, but then he turned to me and asked: "Are you a fisherman?" :oops:

I had to spend the whole journey with him so I steadfastly pretended I was deaf and stared out of the window the entire time.
I love the "deaf" approach! lol
 

crux

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I was on a 727 at altitude that suddenly lost an engine. We were on our way to California at the time. The pilot made a safe emergency landing at Denver airport.
 
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