In the Bus Bag
Unaccustomed Earth, by Jhumpa Lahiri
Monthly Archives: November 2006
This resourceful man waited with me at the stop across from Douglass-Truth.
No bench? No problem!
This morning, a young woman got on the 8 with her knitting and sparked a bus-wide discussion. It started with the old ladies sitting near her in the front, then spread to the women further back, and eventually, to the punk-rock guy sitting next to me in the third row. Folks wanted to know what she was making (a scarf–it’s the only thing she’s mastered in two years of lessons) and how long it had taken her (two months so far). I got off mid-discussion, so I missed her tales of adventures in crocheting.
Last night, on the …
A cell phone conversation:
“Do you have plans for Thanksgiving?” [pause] “Oh, good. I just didn’t want you to be out there with the cats and, like, a chicken pot pie or something.”
It took me a full minute to get around this considerately parked vehicle, which I encountered on my way from the 48 stop at 23rd & Spring. When I got to the other side, I spent another minute trying to figure out how someone with a wheelchair would have managed it.
Perhaps it was too much trouble to pull forward a few feet into that empty driveway…
A new report from the Washington-based Center for Housing Policy finds that in major metropolitan regions around the country, the money you save on housing by moving away from the city is about the same amount you will spend on additional transportation costs.
Frequently, families that move away from cities such as San Francisco fail to prepare for the high cost of the car culture they enter. “Transportation means not only going to work, but if you’re living in one of the outlying suburbs, it means you need a car to …
Today we took a trip to a Wolverine den in Issaquah for the big game. It didn’t go as well as Bus Nerd and his fellow alums had hoped, but at least I got to check out the new and improved Eastgate Park & Ride.
And then, on the 271 back to Seattle, there were the two old guys sitting in the front, trading stories of ailments and listening wistfully to the celebratory noises from the group of young men heading out for the night.
Old guy 1: “When I hear those young guys laughing, it makes …
Montlake Freeway Station, 8:45 AM:
A very large man in a (very red) Ohio State sweatshirt is standing in the shelter when we arrive. Bus Nerd, a (runner-slim) UM grad, defiantly unzips his jacket to reveal a Michigan fleece.
Bus Nerd, to me: “The battle lines are drawn.”
I’m heading out to a party tonight (27+28), despite the fact that I’ve been under the weather since Monday. (Red wine might be just the medicine I need.) In honor, last week’s Real Change column:
I have great empathy for my fellow Seattleites who are struggling to shake their addiction to cars. I know quite well how difficult it is to kick a powerful habit. How? Because, dear readers, I, too, struggle with an addiction — to my flat iron.
That perfectly smooth, bone-straight look I’m rockin’ in the picture next to my byline? That look required …
Hot: Bus shelters with glass walls
Not: Shelters with no walls–or the mesh replacements that the let the wind in
Really not: Stops without shelters
Hot: Buses with working heaters (and drivers who turn them on)
Not: Buses with broken heaters
Really not: Passengers who open windows on days you can see your breath
Hot: Stylish, waterproof gloves that allow for maximum dexterity
Not: Big ol’, cumbersome mittens
Really not: Forgetting gloves or mittens on the bus