Glasgow Buses: Or, Chantelle’s Quest for Love

Glasgow Bus Adventures

Chantelle Stikes Again

Student Tours Scotland loves Glasgow. It is, after all, the place we are based, have always lived and love. There are problems in any city and commuting is usualy the worst one. In Glasgow though, Student Tours Scotland loves the commute. Here is a particular example of why.

Every time I think I hate commuting in Glasgow I remember the story of Chantelle. It makes me realise that without this in my life I would not be as culturally rich. The Glasgow buses are what makes commuting in the city an awful nightmare BUT also amazing. I could probably write a best selling book on the experiences I’ve had over the years. Rocks thrown at moving buses, drivers fighting with angry, drunk old ladies, creepy couples and the kid with the alphabet! But nothing compares to Chantelle.

Now, I should tell you, I’ve actually never met Chantelle. I don’t think anyone has. She is a mystery to me, an enigma, and yet I feel connected to her. She is as much a part of my life as the sun is - it comes and goes and most of the time it isn’t there. And just like that vibrant ball of warmth, when Chantelle does make an appearance in my life, it is most welcome.

Imagine the scene: you’re on a cold, freezing First Glasgow bus with other shivering, tired passengers. The bus is moving at a snails pace and the guy next to you has clearly not had a shower (or a Glasgow shower - where you spray yourself with Lynx/Axe deodorant) in days. Suddenly, from nowhere, a phone rings. The suspense rises. Who will answer? Will it be the sweat monster? Could it be the business guy? Is it the woman endlessly applying makeup on the bus and fixing it every time we go over a bump or pot hot? Or, hopefully will it be Chantelle’s friend?

Sadly, I don’t know the name of Chantelle’s friend? With the grace of a kid throwing a tantrum, the friend yells hello into the phone and is immediately surprised as, “Chantelle!” is exclaimed down the phone. Either the friend is deaf or Chantelle is very loud as the friend yells constantly. The atmosphere in the bus has changed but you can easily separate everyone out into two teams. There are those who are first timers, experiencing the epic display as beginners. They will be persuaded but at the moment they are disgusted by the break in the awful silence that most bus journeys is Glasgow face. Then there is the rest of us. We love this. What is unfolding before us is a scene never before seen in nature - Chantelle and her friend picking up the pieces of Chantelle’s love life.

I love these girls. I want to know more. Where does Chantelle find these awful men? Why does she keep dating the same awful guy for ages? Why does the friend never offer actual support and only say, “oh I know” and “he’s not right for”? But mostly I want to know why the friend thinks that the only way to stop her friend from ranting and to get a word into the conversation is to repeatedly say, “CHANTELLE! CHANTELLE! Listen CHANTELLE! CHANTELLE!” in repeat. It’s like Chantelle has forgotten who she is, poor girl. Lost in a world of awful men and bad dates she has forgotten her own name. Only this nameless amigo can help.

The bus is a great place to people watch. Those that have met the friend and Chantelle scenario before are listening with intent. What new details will we get today? In the last episode of Chantelle viewers were left with the shocking cliffhanger that her ex-boyfriend had reappeared mid-date. She was with another bad man, this time in Pizza Hut. How we wish we had been there. The drama that must have unfolded sounds like it could have put Big Brother to shame.

I feel for Chantelle. Poor Chantelle. If only Chantelle could date someone nice. Maybe she got addicted to Pokemon as a kid and the only way she can deal with life is to catch them all. Bad boyfriend after bad boyfriend. She needs a Misty or a Brock for a friend. Currently she is friends with a Gary, and he was never Ash’s best friend. But I digress. Chantelle’s friend needs to be more supportive. Get out there, stop her making these bad decisions.

And so it was that the friend left the bus, still screaming Chantelle’s name and trying to get a word in edge wise. “He’s no good for you Chantelle” was all we heard as our only source of intrigue, excitement and amusement had left the bus. Once she had gone the atmosphere on the bus soured as we realised that the vibratory hum of the First Glasgow coach was all that remained. Chantelle was gone, her friend had left a void on the bus. One thing is for sure, everyone on board was excited for the new season. It should be coming to our screens soon enough. We just have to wait.