This past week I was on the bus here in good old Swedish-America. I knew I was in Swedish-America and not Sweden for a couple of reasons. One, there were two kids in the back of the bus rapping. Loudly. And two, the bus driver was yelling at said kids. Loudly.
As I sat there, in the crossfire, listening to my the B.S. Report, I realized how some things are just so very different than what I grew used to (yet still complained about) in Sweden.
Public transportation is miserable everywhere I have decided. It is less miserable in some places, but as a general rule, where public transportation goes, misery follows. I do not like it.
In Sweden, I rode in silence. People seldom spoke. People barely looked at each other. People most definitely did not rap loudly. To be honest, I could care less if you rap loudly. I think it’s rude, but I’ve got my iPod in and have grown quite adept at ignoring noise. And who are we kidding, rap is just noise.
So there I sat, hearing just a bit of background noise when the bark came from the front of the bus. Shut up back there. Watch your mouth back there. Stop swearing back there. It was a furious few second of vitriol directed towards our budding Tupac. It seemed that the real problem was not so much the noise, but the language. These kids dared to swear. Shit.
As I have written before, I’m not a huge proponent of swearing. I think it is in poor taste when done in very public places. Public transportation, by definition, is public. But, I’ve been known to drop the occasional damn it. Fuck. Shit. Bitch. It happens, so I tend to get over it.
The bus driver did not. Because she followed with a classic line that made me hate her just a little bit. If you don’t stop, I will call the cops. I actually laughed out loud at this point. So now I’m the weird guy that laughs out loud while listening to an iPod. Oh well.
First, I had no idea that swearing was illegal. Second, I can’t imagine the police wanting to take the time and energy to respond to a call about two kids swearing on a bus. And third, really? Really? You’re going to stop the bus, with other passengers on it, call the police because of some foul language, and make us wait for the police to respond? Because of foul language?
I assume the Wu Tang Clan (I’m really running out of rapping references here…) in the back was thinking the same thing. Because they did not stop rapping. Although, instead of rapping about bitches and hoes, they switched to ice cream. Vanilla and chocolate. A deeper social commentary really.
As I finally stepped off the bus, I realized that in three years of riding public transportation in Sweden, nothing along those lines had ever happened. After one month riding public transportation in the US, there it was.
Welcome to Swedish-America. And rapping at the back of the bus.
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