Fuss in the Car

I am five years old in this memory. My two-year-old little brother is crazy about buses. He has a large collection of toy buses at home, and his regular walk in the neighbourhood with his mother includes a specific bus watching spot where local buses come over to spend their out-of-service hours. Whenever and wherever he finds a local bus, his eyes will be glued and nothing else can catch his attention.

On weekends, my family often drive to a large shopping mall in the outskirt. My mother is the driver, my father is her copilot, and my brother and I sit in the backseat. I always look forward to the fun time I have with my brother in the backseat where we make random noises, play nonsense games, and ask silly questions to our parents.

But there is one moment when I completely lose my brother – when a bus appears in our sight. The moment he spots it, he stands up and exclaims.

“Oh, a bus goes!” His eyes are glued to the bus, and his hands are clutching the sides of the front seats. “That’s a city bus!”

In my hometown, there are bus services offered by the city and by the prefecture. Their designs are different, and it is important for my brother to articulate which kind of bus he has just spotted.

It does not matter how far or close the bus is, he is now going to stand and watch like this until the moment the bus completely disappears from our sight.

Sitting next to him, I feel impatient. First of all, now that he is standing, the already tiny space feels even more restricted. Second of all, it is utterly boring when my brother is occupied with buses and nonresponsive to other things happening in the car.

I secretly pray that the bus will disappear as soon as possible. In the meanwhile, my brother is beside himself with joy, looking at the bus and repeating his observation in a loud voice. This is our drive routine.