Chatting at the bus stop


Have a moan, you're not alone.

Waiting on the bus can be an excellent opportunity to chat to others.

Diane, our guest blogger and one of our Age of Experience members* is writing about the value of connecting with people when we're out an about.



I've always enjoyed a good chat. Sharing words is vital in sharing our humanity and experiences, and even though it can be quite hard to be brave and start a conversation, I believe it's definitely worth the risk! After all, everyone is a stranger to start with and one never knows when a friend is in sight. It would be very sad if he or she were missed out on!

Bus stops are great places to meet other people. Sometimes a simple hello or other casual words are enough, and of course there is always room for a grumble about delays or non-arrivals of vehicles. A chat often helps diffuse the situation… A smile helps too. Or a laugh!

Older people are often keen to chat more, though some seem wary of talking to strangers. This is very sad and I feel sorry about it. However, once the ice is broken, I've discovered how very interesting their stories are and what great people I've been fortunate to meet.

So, try to start a chat! A screen is often the only thing used to communicate in public and unfortunately shuts others out, but talking and listening to each other is of mutual benefit, and the warm light of pleasure in the eyes of a lonely person is precious and to be treasured.

Some months ago, before Christmas, I met a young man and his father at a local bus stop. They had just been to a food bank and carried bulging plastic carriers, so I just said wasn't the thought of a sit-down welcome? The younger chap said where they'd just been and commented on how kind everyone there had been. He showed me what he had. Did I like soup? He offered me a tin (or two)! I had just bought a pack of doughnuts, so we did a swap and had a laugh. The barter system still works, obviously, and it was great to meet someone so friendly and kind, who even though he wasn't well off, was happy to share.

It made my day, and gave me a gift, in more ways than one. Fantastic!


*The Age of Experience group is our co-production cohort made up of people over 50 who have been socially isolated at different stages of their life. They come from all walks of life and the group provides valuable knowledge and experiences that help steer the Ageing Better in Birmingham on a strategic level and with designing activity that create real change in our city's diverse communities. 

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