I ride the bus to work.
This statement has never sounded so much like a statement of adventure until I did so in San Francisco. I’ve lived in Brooklyn, where the subways are crazy, however, the buses are actually less crazy… Also, I’ve lived in Boston, where the craziness lives outside the buses, or around the buses. But here in San Francisco, the craziness lives on the bus.
First point of crazy — the bus stop:
Being a “green city,” San Francisco has opted for solar-powered bus stops with a cool [sic] retro wave design. This should be awesome! However, when it rains (and it does rain) this mode of shelter provides precisely none. Also, these “enclosures” are always filled with some remnant of vomit or feces.
Second point of crazy — “move to the back!”:
There seems to be this irrational fear that if you move to the back of the bus you will not be able to get off the bus. Really?! There are doors from front to back, however, without fail there is always a call from the bus driver to “move to the back!” Many times people will shout back “there’s no room!” however, a small (to large) person (usually a man) will squeeze their way back and suddenly disappear into the place where there was no room, as if by magic.
Third point of crazy — anonymity:
There are so many people on the bus I ride to work — even in the wee hours of the morning (read 6am)! However, even with the international symbol for “don’t talk to me,” (i.e. headphones) there really is a lack of privacy on the bus. Makes sense, I imagine — a public bus! But sometimes, when the bus is really crowded, you are sandwiched in like sardines against each other and any hope of any shred of a private moment has gone out the window. And of course, in the back of your head you’re thinking, “Man, I bet there’s another bus like two minutes behind this one that’s empty.” But the nagging feeling of just wanting to get where you’re going has you entrenched on this bus as a sardine.
Fourth and final point of crazy — the people:
There are so many different types of people who ride the bus. Most of them are pleasant enough; most of them stand up from their seats when elderly people are nearing to relinquish their ever-desired seat to a person in need. However, there are those few… Those smelly, loud, obnoxious people who no one wants to sit by, or talk to, or even be with on the same bus (again, the nagging feeling has them entrenched).
With all these points of crazy, it’s a wonder that I don’t smile more often. Because in all honesty — it’s hilarious! It’s an ever-engaging, always impressive trip down coo-coo lane…
Today, the Fast Pass machine was broken, however, every single person had to try their card to see if it worked. No, the person in front of you is not an idiot and does know how to put a card next to a machine in order to get it read. The machine doesn’t work.
Two days ago, a man of whom I spoke earlier, (an undesirable) was moving along the bus annoying the passengers and making them get up and move with his loud yelling and awful smell. He came to one lady who had headphones in and looked like she was just on her way to work in a nice little cubicle and attempted to get her to move. But this lady just turned to him and … Out crazied [sic] the crazy! It was epic! I only wish I had the foresight to video record it. Next time…