Ever so often I catch a bus to work. My trip takes about 20 mins and though I do have a newspaper to read each morning, I find myself staring at the world that is changing at a miraculous speed around me. Most people look half asleep and dead tired and that is no surprise..its 7.00am!! The entertainment is the children on the bus...about 30 of them get on at different points! And you can make out the smart children from the stupid ones, the up-to-no-possible-good ones from the good-child-of-an-anxious-family, and of course, the-only-child-in-the-family. I have been on this route for nearly 3 years which means I have actually observed some of these kids grow up!! (Yes I should get a life or a car! I know!!)
But seriously..I see those who have the newest phone (and what may one do with a mobile when one is in class and straight back home after school?), I also see those who have a BIG iPod to listen to the oh-so-short journey to school.
Then I see all the girls, from being pigtailed sweeties turn into mini adults in adult make-up, slicked and styled to breaking point hair casually thrown on uniforms with as few buttons done up as possible, short skirts and rolled down socks!! Okay I admit this sounds like a weird description - but it is true. These kids are not more than 14yrs old!! I recently heard my mum moaning about the same problem in India- she has been working in schools for 25 yrs now, and spends a considerable amount of time pulling down skirt hems and asking people to pull their socks up, literally!!
The boys are not better, the air of nonchalance is closely followed by a quick look at the coolest girl in the group. She of the straight blond hair and heavily mascaraed blue eyes. Reed thin and sporting lots of makeup, cool designer shoes and a heavily graffiti-ed bag. She has equally ugly spotty female friends around her, the word 'foil' comes to mind! All the boys want to look at her but prefer to stand and travel than to sit next to her, even when a seat is available, you see they are too cool to bother! With hair stiffer than your average broom bristles, ties hanging low, they are amusing, preening category of people. I had one sit next to me, who reeked of after shave (at the age of 11-12) so much so I could smell him through my very bad cold!!
It seems that the average young person has more material goods, which they cant afford to buy themselves, more make-up and more designer gear than their other hard working adult travel mates! Why? Is it me being an old cribbing woman or just someone who is constantly surprised at the ability that parents have to spoil their children beyond repair!!