In the Bus Bag
Unaccustomed Earth, by Jhumpa Lahiri
Monthly Archives: June 2006
Dave came by his car-free status unintentionally: The suspension on his Volvo station wagon started to fail, and rather than pay the exorbitant repair cost (or risk losing a wheel on the road), he decided to stop driving it. (From Dave: “…having had that wagon for a number of years, I felt that something fantastic was going to happen. …
Here are some excerpts from the Sprawl and Health section:
In subtle yet cumulatively significant ways, extra driving adds to the burden of death, injury and disease. Car accidents, obesity and physical inactivity, exposure to air pollution, and reduced opportunity for neighborly interactions can all result. And all these things take a toll on our health.
…mile for mile, riding a bus is more than ten times safer than driving a car.
…vehicle-related fees–fuel taxes, …
This evening, I stood next to an actual skinhead at the stop in front of Benaroya Hall. I recently learned that not all skinheads are racist neo-Nazis, but I’m thinking the fact that this one had the letters H-A-T-E tattooed on the fingers of his right hand is an indication that he’s probably not one of the “other” kinds.
Who knows? Maybe his left hand said something nice.
I am a very, very big fan of hot weather. So, as you might imagine, I have been thrilled with our recent (and unexpected–it’s June, after all) Seattle-style heat wave. When it’s nice like this, I tend to walk more often–partly because I want to be outside as much as I can, and partly because the buses get a little weird when the temperature climbs above 80. Folks get on half-dressed, exposing parts of their bodies the rest of us were never meant to see. (Depending on the individuals in question, this can sometimes make the bus another kind …
When Metro and Sound Transit’s wi-fi pilot was first announced, I was one happy bus chick. I fantasized about using it all the time–to leave work early (Why work in the office when you can work on your way home from the office?), to IM with girlfriends in different time zones, to check Tracker for the routes I planned to transfer to. In reality, I’ve used it successfully twice: once on the 545 and once on the 48. I was so excited, I didn’t do anything useful–just sent lots of e-mail with the subject line, “I’m on the …
Fellow bus chicks,
If you are planning to take the Elliott Bay Water Taxi on a windy evening, remember not to wear open-toed mules with three-inch heels–not even if you are going to visit your fashion-plate mother, who will no doubt raise her eyebrows at your sensible bus-chick shoes. Not even if, after you return from visiting your fashion-plate mother, you plan to attend a house party at a fancy downtown condo. You see, you will have to board the ferry/taxi from a floating dock, a floating wooden dock made from unevenly spaced planks. Sometimes, …
The point of a blog, or so I understand, is to chronicle your life as it happens. The problem with this: While life is happening, you don’t necessarily have time to chronicle. Life has been happening to me since my visit to Atlantic Base last Thursday, which is why I am just now getting around to writing about it. Let’s see what I can remember…
First, thanks to Sue Kattar, the (now former) base supervisor, who volunteered to give me a tour and took the time to do it four days before her retirement from Metro.
Yesterday, Adam and I raced for the cure in honor of my mom and everyone else we know who has dealt with a terminal illness. Afterwards, we raced for the 27. We were breathing heavily by the time we got on–a big mistake on this particular 27. You see, another of the (tiny handful of) drawbacks of a bus-dependent lifestyle is the occasional encounter with an unpleasant odor. (I’ll spare you the examples.) Sometimes, the odor can be escaped with a discreet move to another seat. At other times, it permeates the entire vehicle, creating what bus …
A couple of times in the last week, I’ve been confronted with some surprising assumptions about people who choose not to own cars. First, there was Knute Berger’s unwarranted (and, I might add, illogical) attack on me and a few other extreme “bionauts” who, apparently, mooch off our neighbors while simultaneously looking down our noses at them. (To read rebuttals to Knute’s argument, try Seattlest and The Stranger‘s Slog.)
And then there was the comment on one of my recent posts that ended on a less-than-positive note. After politely articulating his reasons for choosing to drive, the …