Yesterday was Wednesday, so it’s free bus day here in Ottawa. We decided to have a “staycation” and act as tourists in our new city. Hubby and I left home in the morning to make the most of the day. We visited the Rideau Centre and I had a Tim Horton’s steeped tea which was delicious. Then we walked across the street to Chapters book store where we spent a happy hour browsing the books and magazines.
Around noon we walked up Wellington Street, past the Chateau Laurier, and got to the Parliament Buildings just as hundreds of people were starting an Outdoor Yoga Session. Hubby thinks there were over a thousand people there and they were pouring out of office buildings carrying their yoga mats and heading for “The Hill”.
We watched for a while and then made our way to Bank Street, where we had a delicious lunch at The Royal Oak pub. When we left there we decided to try to walk as far as we could south on Bank Street, towards Billings Bridge. About 15 minutes later we spotted the No. 1 bus coming and we decided to take it.
BIG MISTAKE! And here is where the “scare” comes in. First of all, a man started talking to me before we got on the bus. I’ll call him Creep #1.
Creep #2 and #3 were already on the crowded bus. There were two seats side by side and I sat in one of them. The man on my right was very fat so Hubby decided to stand. Fat guy starts picking at some sores on his arm so I turned the other way. Creep #2 who was on my left then shouts at the top of his voice, “The Hell’s Angels are my friends”. Creep #3 yells at him from across the bus, “You don’t know the Hell’s Angels”.
The guy who was yelling then shouts, “I’m one of the Hell’s Angels.” Creep #2 yells back at him, egging him on. Other passengers on the bus were shouting to the driver to kick them off the bus. It was really frightening.
The situation was escalating so the driver stopped the bus and came back to tell the guy to stop shouting. He stopped until the bus got going and then shouts the same thing again. Then Creep #2 starts saying, to Creep #1 who knew him (no surprise), “I hate that guy. I’d like to beat him up. He reminds me of Paco. I beat him up and did nine months for it”. The first guy says, “I hate Paco too. |He tried to set me up for a robbery.”
The shouter keeps shouting and then slips his hand in his pocket and pulls something out that he hid in his hand. Hubby and I got out at the next stop and started walking to our destination. But it didn’t stop there.
After a couple of blocks, there was the bus, stopped with the flashers on. Beside it was another No. 1 bus also with its flashers on. All of the passengers were getting on to the second bus.
The shouter was standing on the corner about 30 ft. in front of us. Suddenly a special constable pulled up in her car and shouted a couple of times to the man to get his hands out of his pocket. “Where’s the knife?”, she shouts. “Where’s the knife?”
I was terrified. We passed by them then and kept walking. At the next corner the second bus pulled up. The doors were opened to let passengers on and I heard the bus driver call to the people on the bus, “Anyone who saw what happened, give me your names and phone numbers.”
We walked about three miles in the heat and humidity but didn’t get on another No. 1 bus. The No. 98 was a serene experience by comparison.
I was shaking for about half an hour!