Thought I would take this opportunity to express something that has been on my mind recently, keeping me up at night so to speak, and I thought I would share.
Hi, my name is Sylvan, I love buses, and I love drawing them too! Although you already know all that, fine, but it seems due to how different my approach to loving buses, is very different to how any of you are enthused by them.
What kind of enthusiast are you?
I'm glad you asked, well...
I am a new breed of bus enthusiast,
A very different one than any typical one you'd might expect. Not just the ones who go around chasing buses, not just the kind that goes photographing them, not just the kind that knows every little detail right down to how many screws each bus is fitted with. I am completely unique, whilst still sharing a few similarities.
Getting back to the quote I made on the 'What bus did you catch today' post, I was surprised no one asked how I am different to the rest of you, I will probably guess that you don't care, but I will tell anyway, because I want to get it out of my system.
Unlike the rest of you, the way I admire the buses, pursue the interest and identify differences is by using 4 of the 5 body senses. So I would say most of you identify buses by Sound, Sight, and probably Touch (more specifically for those who actually driver the buses), but for me, I go by it with Sound, Sight, Touch/Feel/Sense, and Smell. To elaborate more I will explain each below.
-Since 2007, I have payed more attention to the numbers of the buses, knowing how to identify them, and sometimes even knowing some by specific features that are different from others, allowing me to know which ones they are, even if you cover up the number on the bus. Before 2007, I didn't realize the 3 digit numbers were the identity of the bus, I had a suspicion, but not until then did I start to notice them. Was kinda shocked when 617 passed me at Woden today, that is an example of how unfamiliar I still am of not only the numbers, but also how many more they are getting - If I don't pay full attention to the delivery posts, otherwise I usually just assume they're still working towards whatever was said in the Chronicle or on the News.
-As I have been drawing pretty much my whole life, the looks are something that mean a lot to me, and looking out for little design specifics are just some of the little things I do to improve my drawings as the years go by. Even the little angle change helps a lot. There's quite a few methods I use to identify the difference of the look of specific buses, esp those that look somewhat the same. For example; the Iris and E5s from side on (excluding the change of the window angles), one way I tell the difference is by the air-conditioning unit, on the E5s. it's slightly further back from the front as it is on the Iris. Another Example: The way I work out the differences between the Scania and MAN gas powered buses (excluding the window angle again), I have an ordering system that I use to remind myself the difference. By numbering the gas tank 3, the aircon 2, and the emergency hatch 1. In doing this, I can easily remind myself when drawing, or even just visually seeing from above, the MAN are 321, and the Scanias are 312.
As being a bus enthusiast who grew up with no other knowledge other than what I had been told over the years by other drivers, transport officers, etc, and from the years of studying the bus timetables and maps within my huge messy collection, it is hard to get use to the way things are done here, with all the resources you guys have had access to all this time.
-As mentioned the other day in a post I made about being musical as well as a bus nut, I truly believe now that ever since I was young, I was born to be a bus lover and musically talented. Although I didn't really do much musical things when I was young (other than playing the keyboard/piano for many years), with my amazing vocal range and having a good ear for picking up sounds, I was easily able to mimic every sound (excluding the next stop bell) that the buses were able to make - engine, door sounds, buttons being pressed, hand break FX, the old ticket machine sounds, even the exhaust. Although my voice has changed over the years, making some registers of bus engines is now harder to replicate, I am still able to do at least 80% of all the sound affects I was able to do when I was young. I still hum along to every bus I catch (most often by habit) cause not only does it feel good, but it's one way to keep myself occupied in case the bus trip starts getting boring, and also cause it’s easy to sing/hum along to, no lyrics to learn .
-Due to listening to the buses all these years, I am very familiar to all the sounds they make, even being able to hear a PR2 from at least a kilometer away, and knowing how far it is to my position. Like I use to do once upon a time in the mornings on the way to school from the bus stop. Back when it was the 61, I would stand/sit at the Vosper Street bus stop, often with other people there too, and as soon as I heard the rev of a PR2 turn out of Finchem onto Athllon, I would know straight away that it would be arriving shortly, quite often saying out load to alert the other people, to prepare us all, to be ready before the bus came around to Vosper. I still remember the few times they would say "how did he do that/how does he do that" or "how did he know it was coming round right then", I think I replied once, "I can hear when it is coming".
-Even when I'm standing at the interchange waiting for a bus, if a bus somewhere behind me fires off the exhaust or its engine is started up, just by hearing the shake of the bus, the exhaust, or even the whirring, I can identify what type of bus it is straight away just by hearing its features that most other people wouldn't notice.
With being a ‘bus lover’, for all the years I spent non-stop talking about buses, it would drive anyone up the wall (mostly cause I had no one to talk to about it other than myself
). I don’t remember much of it, but if you asked my mum, she could tell you a 15 year long story about it.
-Probably the one thing that anyone would find odd. But one major part of how I go day by day when riding and identifying buses, is by their smell/scent. I can tell how recently a new bus has been put out on service by how thick its interior smell is.
-When I board a particular bus, say a P2, the first thing I notice when I get on, is the smell of the old seats, you could blindfold me, and I’d still know which kind of bus I was on.
-Like I referred to once “this bus smells like an Artic”, well that’s cause I picked up a scent that was coming from the underpart of the bus, whilst I was putting my bike on the rack. The P2s have their own scent, but it smelt like an Artic, cause I remembered a specific scent that the Artics had around the concertina area, and for some reason that bus (and 903 today also) was blowing something with that similar smell in my direction.
For those who are interested in these things (and it might only be me) - the new outdoor lift at Woden...No, you’re not the only one, I like lifts/elevators too In fact I grew up riding these things cause it was fun as a kid, and I still ride them now, cause they’re convenient. More to the topic though, the one thing I’ve always loved about lifts (mostly old ones), yes, you guessed it, it’s their smell. The Schlinder ones most specifically, with that strong metallic scent - You may as well say I get high off lift smells.
-I tend to not smell the exhausts of the buses however, esp not the PR3s, yuck. Even still, when I get off the bus and get blown away by the back exhaust, I will know what had just hit me – if it’s the dirty old chocking smell of a PR3, or the warm intoxicating metallic smell of a Euro 5.
- Touch(/Feel/Sense ):
-There’s quite a few ways that I can describe the way I use these senses when I’m on and around buses, such as; if you were to blindfold me, walk me up to a bus, and let me feel the outside of it with my hand, I’d most likely be able to tell you which model it is – same with the interior.
-Over the years, I have used this sense to familiarise myself with the buses, feeling the materials, hearing the sounds when I tap particular parts. If one day I build an old Renault from scratch for example, just from the areas of which I’ve studied, I could know which pieces could go here and there, and what wouldn’t fit.
-I often get asked when I on the bus drawing my little drawings, or when I’m making an edit/fix-up to one of my major monthly drawings, how I’m able to draw so neatly whilst the bus is moving – even without a ruler. No, it’s not just practice, for me it’s a little different. Cause of how long I’ve been riding buses, studying everything about them, how they react on the roads, how much they bounce when they hit bumps etc, cause of this experience, I have been able to (metaphorically speaking) ‘magnetize’ myself to a bus while it’s moving, to allow myself to still be able to draw a straight line (without a ruler) even if the bus travels over a really big bump, or pit.
For a little more detail, I have a bus-y photographic, phonographic, haptic and olfactory memory.
I could go on, but then I’d probably start to not make sense to myself. So yeah, that’s me for you. Now I can understand that a lot of that could be very hard to understand/take in, but it’s how I am, how I’ve always been, and probably how I will always be. If you don’t like it, fine, but don’t take it out on me on the forums cause of how different I am. If I say something that’ll likely make you cringe and ‘facepalm’, facepalm your own hand and face into your own desk instead of into my face, or as I was going to say before...
I'm not sure what to say to that.
‘Then don’t say anything.’
I’ve had enough of being mocked, abused and ridiculed cause of my differences, and cause of the lack of my knowledge in some areas. So if you want to crucify me, keep it to yourself.