public transit: the bus stories

if this were the title of a book, i’d be the first to buy it.

busses create wonderful story material.


in fact, i already have countless funny, crazy and downright weird bus stories from the past 7 months of riding muni.

some recent memories:

— chatting with the driver on the 3-jackson about the weather & finding out that he used to live in alaska. apparently i’m a wimp because i took the bus for 1/2 a mile and because i think san francisco nights are cold. “you need to beef up and stick it out” – those were his exact words.

— falling on the 1-california because i tried to carry 3 law school books, a coffee, a schoolbag and a lunch sack while trying to hold the handrail on the steep, steep hills. a nice old man in a checkered vest helped me pick everything up. [i’m not sure why, but i thought this was so crazy funny at the time – probably because of my silliness to forget that i only have 2 arms]

— watching a homeless boy scratch lottery card after lottery card (probably around 30 cards total) in an attempt to make it big on the 47-van ness. [extremely sad]

— talking to an ex-lawyer who tried to convince me to quit law school and work for him at his PR firm. “law school is for losers,” he said. [funny]

— realizing that almost every one of the 15 or so yuppy business people on the 1-california were on their blackberries. [somewhat disturbing]

— seeing an old man on the 22-fillmore finish the crossword. he was in such a state of pleasure with himself, he shouted, “yahoooooo!” [adorable]

— hearing the bus driver on the 1-california humming “over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house we go…” [cute]

— laughing, while the bus driver for the 1-california chugged, “i think i can. i think i can. i think i can.” while the bus climbed a steep hill. [also cute]

— seeing a really, really sick drugged-out homeless man throw up. [gross + sad]

— watching countless kind people give up their seats for older riders, the handicapped and for pregnant women. [beautiful]

as annoying as riding the bus can be, it is quite a little microcosm of the universe. there are so many different types of people, of all ages, races, education levels, demeanors and languages.

no matter what bus i take or time of day i’m taking it, a ride on the busses of san francisco have been a million small, healthy steps outside of my comfort zone.

i’m convinced that these are the types of experiences that make us who we are. they can shape us into more mindful people, if we let them.


One Response

  1. I started taking the bus more and more after starting university and I have become so much more aware of the different types of people around me. I used to get rides everywhere, but the bus made me more ‘experienced’ I guess. I love it when people give up their seats to others too! Also, it seems like a lot of your bus drivers are really cute haha. On the other hand, there are crazy people who stare at you too.

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