So, yesterday I sacrificed my lunch hour to attend a talk on tagging, blogging and RSS feeds (I’m in a school of information – this is what we do) and I’ve decided to tackle a blog again. To be quite frank, I’m not in such a cool place anymore (i.e. England) so my life isn’t all that recordable so don’t plan on a post every day.
Anyhoo, to get to the topic of my post, I take the bus to school every day. I have never taken public buses really until I moved here sans a car. I’ve also never met some of the people who ride public buses. I’m beginning to think this was a good thing. Oh, I’ve met some great people, old ladies who want to know my life story, the stressed-out students who look like they may go through the roof of the bus if you move too quickly but love a fresh ear for their latest project, the adorable little kids talking to anyone about anything. Then there are the fun ones.
While waiting for the bus, I’ve met my fair share and I’ve only been riding for a little over a month. Let’s start with Hugo. I have no idea of his real name, I’ve never wanted to ask. He will always be Hugo to me. He’s a nice guy, a little creepy but a lot of guys you meet waiting at the bus stop are. His accent is awful – I can hardly understand half the things he says (again, a good thing I believe) but he always has to ask me a million questions about my life, what I’m doing here, how I like it so far, how much my rent is. Never mind that I’ve answered the questions the same way every time he’s asked them. Hugo though always has to hug me when the bus comes. Like I’m his new best friend and he’s never going to see me again. Forget that I see him at least once a week. One of these days I’ll have to ask his name… Then there was Patrick who introduced himself like this “I’m Patrick and I believe in the good Lord Almighty Jesus Christ.” I like to think I kept a straight face. I also like to think I didn’t worry him too much when I had to think about his next question and explanation, “Do you believe in Jesus Christ? I always ask that first because if they say no, I won’t talk to them.” You have to love the guy for his honesty. However, I wasn’t really looking to be converted at 10:30 in the morning on a Friday.
However, while waiting for the bus is fun, riding it is even better. Take this morning for example. I was on my way to school and we stop and this kid gets on. Young kid, probably an undergrad student at the university. He sits down next to this woman who is reading and clinging to her bag for dear life, as if someone is going to get on the bus, rip her bag from her and then race out the back door. Well, this kid sits down and starts picking his nose. Doesn’t even try to hide it and the woman’s face is priceless. She starts to move away until you’d think she was about to melt into the wall. After a few minutes of hugging the wall and sending pointed, disgusted looks his way, she starts to dig frantically in her bag. She pulls out a tissue and hits the kid on the shoulder. He, coming out of what I term ‘bus stupor,’ looks all confused at her. Why would he want that? The woman, becoming increasingly irritated, starts to make gestures with the tissue, pointing at his nose. All of the sudden the kid gets it and kudos for his acting skills. He takes the tissue nonchalantly, wipes his hand and thanks the lady who looks so relieved to have finally gotten though to him that she stops hugging the wall long enough to plow into the kid when the bus goes around a sharp corner. The kid meanwhile has the good graces to have turned an unbecoming red and I’m trying to not laugh hysterically and make him feel that much worse.
Riding the bus is a fabulous people watching experience. It takes groups of people that would never normally interact and forces them into a small space for predetermined amount of time. It’s been an education in itself.