Friday, September 4, 2009

A few unscheduled stops

I was at the bar the other night enjoying a Guinness. I thought I'd like to have a cigarette. I thought about purchasing some. Then I thought better of it. Less than a minute later I realized that the girl next to me that had just left, had left behind her full pack of cigarettes.

The next morning I went for a walk/jog. The walk was fine, but as soon as I started to jog, I felt a pull in my groin. (Unfortunately there has been no recent activity to account for this injury).

Clearly the Great Spirit wants me to smoke and never to run.

A dear friend gifted me a copy of Experimental Travel, a fantastic book of travel ideas that can be done anywhere. With this, and the environment, and boredom in mind, I decided to take the local bus into town yesterday. In a town this size, the public transportation was made to accommodate the poor, elderly poor, and mentally ill.

I planned to walk to the bus stop, about half a mile from my residence, but I seem to have pulled a muscle. But I was not deterred. I drove to the bus stop, conveniently located at the grocery. I ran in and got some snacks for my journey.

Bus arrives. I get in behind another woman. There are two people already on. One gets off soon. As we're driving down a busy road an hispanic woman waves down the bus. She is not at a stop, but the driver has a heart and stops a little ways down from her. She slowly, slowly makes her way to the bus. He tries to explain she isn't at a stop. She puts her child in the front seat and leaves her purse and tells him to wait a minute. She has left her stroller. The bus driver tries to tell her he can't wait, we're blocking traffic. The kid is getting nervous. I jump over and grab the kid to calm him down and she slowly, slowly walks back to get the stroller. Meanwhile we have to pull up and over. I start to think I may have just been gifted a small brown child. Finally she gets in and puts the the middle of the isle. Knowing the lack of english this woman possessed, the driver looks at me imploringly. I dutifully get up and move the stroller into a seat. The lady makes no efforts to assist. I think at this point, she had decided I was a bus attendant.

Our next stop takes us to the community college where we pick up several people lacking the skills to possess a driver's license. The guy behind me keeps shouting directions to the bus driver. I think he may have been autistic or idiot savant, he was in the music program. Very polite, but the bus driver ignored him. Another guy, one of my class mates in high school, kept asking the driver about Michael Vick. He said, "He deserves a second chance. I mean he deserves a second chance. He deserves a second chance." Then about 5 minutes later repeated it. We got off together at the library. The driver looked at me and said, "You need to ride more often!" Maybe there's a position as bus attendant.

So I went to the library, did my business there and then headed up town. Ran into a friend at the coffee shop, did some more business (I'm a very busy person you know) and then he bought me lunch at a pizza joint. We sat on the sidewalk. The antique store across the street was playing the Duffy album. Another friend says, "What the hell is that noise?" I reply, "Duffy." She says, "What's a Duffy?" I reply, "That noise. She's very popular in the UK." My friend replies, "Oh", completely satisfied with the answer.

After sufficiently loitering at the pizza joint and entertaining a small hand full of passing friends, I headed back to the library to catch the bus home. Right on time. I get on and just a ways down the road another woman gets on with a stroller. She was rather she was actually trying to get the stroller in the seat like a polite passenger. I gave her a hand. Just some padding to my bus attendant resume. I haven't paid yet, so I go into my find no money. Assimilation complete. I'm sure people get on the bus all the time with no money, but I don't want to add to it. I start going through my camera bag hoping to find some change. I do! Rubles and Sterling. Crap. So I show it to the bus driver and say, "I must have grabbed the wrong money this morning." Like that's a normal thing to do. Oops! Must have grabbed change out of the Yen jar this morning! I tell him I'll pay double next time, and he offers to pay my way if I'll give him some of that change. So I paid my fare in Rubles and Sterling. Probably ended up paying about 3 bucks for a .75 ride, but it's not like I can use that coin anytime soon.

I'm gonna try to walk to the bus stop today and make it to the Apple festival.

Try something new today! Just taking a different mode of transport gives you a new view on your known world.


Michelle said...

Nice to see my sterling went to help you in your experimental green travel! Only you.

Keith M. King said...

Wow, Wish My Days Were As Exciting!!