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How I sit on the bus (Tales of mere existence)
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Sitting on the bus seems something very simple to do, but if you think carefully about it, sitting correctly is really difficult.

Today I got on the bus and sat down on one of the side seats in the aisle and I put my bag here next to me and I crossed my legs like this. Crossing my legs is the most comfortable way for me to sit, even though I sometimes feel a little funny about it because it’s also the way women usually sit when they’re wearing short skirts. So what I do is I put my arm up on the next seat which asserts my masculinity if only because I’m taking up a lot of room and that way when people look at me they’ll think "hey, even though that guy is crossing his legs he’s still sitting masculine".

So everything was fine at first but then a few minutes later the bus was getting a little more full and somebody wanted the seat next to me so I had to put my bag on my lap. This was kind of a blow but I tried to work with it at first. But then when somebody took the seat on my other side I was left sitting like this between them and I’m sure everyone was looking at me and thinking "that guy is a girly man, he’s not sitting very masculine at all".

So I quickly switched to leg-crossing method B which is what I do when conditions are unfavourable for method A. Method B is when you put your heel up on your knee like this and I guess it’s masculine because it’s a common sitting position for old guys smoking cigars. This worked briefly, but then people getting on the bus kept bumping into my foot so I tried putting both feet on the floor and leaning back but then the people next to me were really squashing into my shoulders.

So I put my bag on the floor and settled for sitting like this, which is usually how guys sit on a couch when watching a football game. It’s kind of an invisible way to sit but at least I was able to rest knowing that even though nobody would notice me, at least they wouldn’t think I wasn’t sitting masculine.

Then finally we stopped at the Powell Street stop and almost everybody got off the bus. I was close to my stop too but I got up and sat on one of the double seats anyway and put my feet up so nobody would even think about sitting next to me. If I had only four minutes left on the bus, I was going to sit masculine.

GOT ON= When talking about public transport (bus, train, plain, boat, etc) we don’t use the preposition "in", we use ON (I’m on the bus, that happened on the plain). So we get into the car and we get out of the car, but we get on the bus and we get off the bus (and the same with the rest of public transport).

AISLE= A passageway between rows of seats.

EVEN THOUGH= This is more emphatic than just saying "though" (=but)

FUNNY= Strange. It can also mean "hilarious" (that makes you laugh), but not here. If we use it in an ambiguous situation, people usually say "is it funny-strange or funny-ha-ha?"

ASSERT= To defend, to express, to affirm.

ROOM= Space

SITTING MASCULINE= Sitting in a masculine way. In English (esp. coll. English, esp. AmE) we can use an adjective as an adverb of manner, without changing its form:
- That is a slow train (adjective)
- He was eating slow (adverb) – it should be: "he was eating slowly"

LAP= The front area from the waist to the knees of a seated person.

KIND OF= more or less (very common in conversational English, often with no meaning)

A BLOW= Something you don’t like, an inconvenience.

WORK WITH IT= Put up with it, accept it.

GIRLY= Effeminate, not masculine, looking like a girl.

AT ALL= Used to emphasize a negative or interrogative sentence:
- I don’t like it at all
- Do you know him at all?


HEEL= The rounded posterior portion of the human foot under and behind the ankle.

GUYS (coll. AmE)= Men

BRIEFLY= For a short time.

KEPT BUMPING INTO MY FOOT= Keep is always followed by –ING. To bump into something is to collide or knock against something, esp. an obstacle.

I TRIED PUTTING BOTH FEET ON THE FLOOR= The verb "to try" may be followed by infinitive with to or by –ing, with a change of meaning:
1- I tried to break the glass but I couldn’t, it was very strong glass.
2- I tried speaking to him in French, but he couldn’t understand me.
In example 1 I didn’t break the glass. I wanted to break the glass but I wasn’t successful.
In example 2 I spoke French, I could do it, but I didn’t get the result I wanted. So TRY + TO is to make an effort, and TRY + -ING is to make an experiment and see if you get the right result or not.

LEAN= To lean is to rest your body against something.

SQUASH= To press or squeeze.

SETTLED FOR= If you settled for something you accept it. Remember that after verbs and prepositions we always use –ING.

COUCH= Sofa. Notice the preposition ON.


I PUT MY FEET UP= When you put your feet up you put them on a chair, a stool or something, so they are not resting on the ground. We can also use it as an expression meaning "to relax".

© Angel Castaño 2008 Salamanca / Poole - free videos to learn real English online || InfoPrivacyTerms of useContactAbout
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