Shut up, Mariah! – By @karolinakezdi

Marc lewis | December 20, 2018

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By Karolina Kezdi

 

Shut up, Mariah!

 

This is my first Christmas in London. The most Christmassy thing in my life at the moment is the security guy in a fluffy red Santa hat in the shop at the corner, but he’s been wearing it since the end of October.

 

Yesterday, while I was on my way home I had to change my bus in a 24/h Asda car park in Canary Wharf. Huge shops are really tempting at night, I popped into the Asda and when I returned to the bus stop it was 2 am, on a Tuesday morning. I know it so well now, I think I could do the next stock-taking. A nice red double-decker had just rolled into the bus stop, and the driver said he’d finished his shift today. He asked where I live. I told him Brixton – which even being optimistic was at least one and half hours away. I hadn’t started panicking yet, just half a minute later, when according to Google map and Citymapper and the iPhone map the next anything that could take me home was a bus departing at 5:26 am. At that moment my face turned into Medusa’s face, so the driver pitied me, I guess, and offered to take me to the nearest bus depot.

 

But he didn’t stop there. We passed the next stop, and the next stop and a tube station, and the bus depot. We were on a mission, on a secret mission. The driver and I, the empty bus and a few free plastic bags (the ones meant for fruit) packed with gifts and reduced lettuce and sprouts, had a goal: to take me home.

 

It was raining slightly, we had now picked up speed, red and green spots twinkled on the damp windows from the traffic lights, car lights and Christmas decoration lights.

 

He cried out: We got him! Can you see? This is your bus, we have to catch it. And we started chasing the N133 and cheered every green light and moaned at every red. We had a plan, I had to be ready, I was on standby, to quickly jump off and leap into the other bus at the bus stop.

 

I made it, we made it. Two complete strangers.

 

He waved at me when he drove away alongside my bus, I mouthed a ‘thank you’.

 

And that was it.

 

That’s it.

 

That’s Christmas.