Standing across the tram tracks on the opposite side, was a rather odd group of four. They were discussing most intently, something that seemed to be of deep common interest. Two portly, middle aged Bavarian men, a young attractive lady and a little girl of about four, riding impatiently in circles around the trio.
I had just got off work. I drop my pen when the clock strikes four to head to my kids, the race with time follows. I welcomed what promised to be a wee bit of entertainment in transit.
She was reassuring them, smilingly 'The ticket must be here somewhere, It can't just disappear. We just have to search everything thoroughly'. The men, obviously the ticket controllers, equally good-naturedly ushered her to the metal seats at the stop and held on to her belongings while she poured the contents out from her purse, scouring through each bit of paper chaos. She kept insisting, amid the increasing pile on her lap, most calmly that all the older tickets were right there, the current must be in there too, somewhere. One of the men watched over the little girl calling out to her not to ride too close to the tracks or too far off from her mother. At one point he even reached out for her little pink fairy rucksack and went through all the trinket trailing zippers, making sure the ticket wasn't mistakenly put in there.
I'm sure anyone who has lived in the proximity of a city has commuted by public transport, and is well aware that commuters are frequently, and randomly checked by ticket controllers. It's one of those things, depending on how well or badly your wallet or handbag is organised, could result in a minor stress situation. Invariably I'm fumbling through the contents of mine when I'm caught, as much to avoid the embarrassment of getting pulled up as the €40 fine attached to it.
Here unfolding before me was the similar situation between 3 total strangers and a child, yet neither authority nor stress seemed to be playing a part. Was it because the lady was so pleasant and not to mention lovely and attractive? Even so, there truly is no dearth of attractive, easily flustered, nasty women. She did remain monumentally unfazed and cheerful through out, and maybe because of it, drew the same reactions from what would have been her oppressors (ok, couldn't resist that exaggeration). I have certainly never come across a nice ticket controller. I seem to infuriate them with each extended second I may need to locate my ticket, while I get that condescending 'Give up the act' look!
She, seemed to be bringing out the best in them. I wonder how she does that?! I would have liked to learn, just then my tram rolled in. The race with time followed.