Wednesday, January 25, 2012

on the bus...

The only bus I ever rode (until college) was the school bus. It took me to and from school. The drivers were strict: you had to sit in your assigned seat and keep your feet outta the aisle.

I was a little nervous (I'll admit it) the first time I had to ride a UTA bus. I had no freakin' idea what I was doing. Lucky for me, my roommate, Mireya, is fairly aware of my general stupidity, and is happy to help me, and explain the niceties of this place called Happy Valley.

Since day #1, I've somewhat figured it out (my route at least). And more than the route, I've learned that you should always expect the unexpected when riding public transit. and be flexible.

I ride the UTA bus to and from campus at least once (sometimes twice) every weekday. The bus ride itself isn't too bad. It can be eventful, but the bus stop is where the real entertainment occurs.

Sometimes, it's full of college kids. These generally are quiet-kinds of people...

If I end up on the bus with someone in my apartment complex, we might strike up a conversation.

Some overly-inquisitive, overly-talkative students find it necessary to make awkward small talk, generally involving questions pertaining to my class schedule and major of choice. This always brings stupid questions about why, how, what, who, where... that I just don't want to answer. But it's against my nature to be rude. so I grin and answer. and politely return the questions.
**on the rare occasion, these conversations happen with people that give me the creeps. I try to avoid these situations, or escape them at the nearest possible opportunity... I've learned fake phone-calls are great excuses.

I've discovered there are also other people in Happy Valley...

People who have weird conversations in public places, speaking at a volume appropriate for a football game, with strangers sitting within 1-2 feet.
** my first experience with such people was memorable. sitting at the bus stop, a gaggle of three individuals sit next to me. a little too close, but they didn't smell rank, so I pretended to pay extra close attention to Facebook while being forced to eavesdrop. (I was sans-headphones...) Their conversation surrounded their buddy Pete who had been having a really rough time with drugs, alcohol, and some other immoral activities. If this had been the extent of the conversation, I probably would have forgotten it by now, but they went into gory detail of how their poor soul of a friend would lock himself in his room for days, binging on his vices. I felt so sorry for poor Pete, but honestly, I didn't want to know...

People who are quiet, but choose (or perhaps Fate chose for them) to wear the oddest clothes.
**this morning, a larger, older man boarded the bus wearing sandals and a zip-up sweatshirt... not odd, other than there's snow on the ground (and his toenails were freaky), and his sweatshirt was only zipped part-way (he wasn't wearing a shirt underneath). My first reaction is always to shy away. But I thought about it, and said a little prayer that wherever he was going was a better place and that he'd be able to find the opportunity so he could buy new shoes and a shirt. and a coat. Happy Valley gets cold. So, here's my shout-out to that man: Best of Luck!
**two days ago, I got on the bus and saw a man in all black. black biker boots, jeans, and leather jacket. he had a blond mullet... a legit mullet. he had the leathery skin to match the persona, and he was wearing his sunglasses on his forehead (but not on top of his head or on his nose, like... on his forehead. I didn't even know that was possible. but Biker Man did it). This man was awesome. I couldn't help but stare, because I was so impressed. Keep on keepin' it real, Biker Man.

And then, the bus drivers themselves...
They can be really nice.
They can be really quiet.
They can take their job way too seriously
** I once had a bus driver that announced every upcoming bus stop. Sometimes, the bus is automated to do this itself. But I guess his bus was ill-equipped. so he did it himself. useful, but kinda odd...
They can almost hit the cars in front of the bus.
They can almost hit the people in front of the bus.
Some of them get mad if you get on the bus through the back door.
Some of them get mad if you don't use the back door of the bus.
Women bus drivers are significantly scarier than male.

And it's only been one month.

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