In the Bus Bag
Unaccustomed Earth, by Jhumpa Lahiri
Monthly Archives: December 2009
Two early twentysomething women are talking relationships in the seat directly in front of me.
Early twentysomething woman 1: “He even helped me clean up the apartment. Like, I asked him to put the dishes away and give the dog some water, and he did it.”
ETW2: “That’s really cool. John would totally have been watching TV.”
ETW1: “I know. He’s a good guy, from a nice family. They’re atheists, but he’s a really good person.”
On Saturday, Bus Nerd and I spent an evening out alone (thanks, Dawn and Juanya!) and decided to check out a restaurant we’d been meaning to try on Queen Anne. On the 4 ride home, we sat directly across from the latest Operator of the Year/Vehicle Maintenance Employee of the Year photos, and Bus Nerd pointed out that the blurb next to the OOY’s photo doesn’t include her name. Check it:
Spotted at 15th & Thomas* at 8 AM(ish):
(And again, sorry for the low quality phone photo.)
*Wondering what I was doing out in the cold early on a Saturday morning? This Saturday was haircut day, and–thank the Good Lord–Metro extended the 8′s service just in time for my beautician‘s move to Capitol Hill.
On Monday, my brother, Jeremy, was chosen as December Employee of the Month at his workplace. (As if I needed another reason to be proud of him.) The reward for this unexpected honor: a choice parking spot near the entrance of the building. Though Jeremy’s not exactly car-free (he shares a car with his girlfriend), he lives a few blocks from his office and walks to work every day. So, being the resourceful (and kind!) soul that he is, he decided to pass on his temporary parking privilege to whichever coworker pledged the most money–in memory of our …
Not surprisingly, segregated city buses weren’t Mrs. Parks’ only experience with unequal transportation. During her school years in Pine Level, Alabama, white students were provided with school buses while black children were forced to walk.
“The bus,” she said in an interview, “was among the first ways I realized there was a black world and a white world.”
Certainly, there are remnants of this separation today (including on the bus*), but I am so grateful that Mrs. Parks (and many, many others) sacrificed their livelihoods and personal safety so that …