Between Places: On a Flixbus from Rome to Milan

I’m pretty sure the dude behind hates me. And I hate him right back. 

Travel has made me a little hard and a lot more cynical (towards panhandlers). Everybody is for themselves and maybe their travel partner(s), and when situations get uncomfortable the us-them divide gets even more pronounced. 

Compared to these large-sized/long-legged Europeans, I am half their stature at 1.6m. I have plenty of room in my bus seat even with my multiple bags I have to have with me on board. Still, I’d like to recline my seat if the seat allows it. Especially when my neighbor in front inches into my space when he/she reclined. 

But the seat just won’t go down. I turned back to see this lanky man slouched in his seat, limbs everywhere. No wonder my seat’s jammed. 


At the first stop, his posture changed. I took the chance to lower my seat but it still didn’t go full business-class-reclined. Sian. 

Slenderman roused from slumber and realized his space got smaller. He proceeded to kick the back of my seat, trying to get comfortable. Hallo, if he’d just approached me with a nice “mi scusi, my legs need like two seats worth of space, can you kindly gratis me some space pls thx bye”, I WOULD HAVE OBLIGED. But kick he did. 

Currently his knees are level with my shoulders. That’s how long his legs are. Or how slouched in his seat he is. My mother would scold me for sitting like this. I worry for his back. 

Can I also mention that he’s sitting alone? The seat beside him is free. That’s like a first-class seat on a sleeper bus. If he starts kicking again, I’m going to ask him to extend the other way. 


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