In the Bus Bag
Unaccustomed Earth, by Jhumpa Lahiri
Tag Archives: 48
This will teach me to choose a home based on its proximity to bus stops.*
I’m more than a little irritated that Metro posted this notice in August and then never even responded to the feedback they requested–mine or anyone else’s.
I get all the stuff about stop consolidation and blah, blah, blah, and I will even admit to being a bit of a NaMBS (as in, “Not at my bus stop!”) about this. But …
Today after church, at a southbound 48 stop, I spotted one of my bus parenting heroes, a man I’ve never actually met. Back in ’08, when Chicklet was but a wee lass, I saw him playing Connect Four with his kid at a northbound 48 stop (in the shelter that advocates for what Bus Nerd refers to as “the right to safe trife“). Having already begun my bus reading adventures with young Chicklet, I was inspired by the concept of bonding in transit–and by the way the two of them interacted. Also, I love Connect …
A few Saturdays ago (around the same time this article was making the rounds on the internets), I participated in a Civil Rights walking tour of my neighborhood, sponsored by the Squire Park In Motion program. The tour was a lot of fun (thankfully for Chicklet and Busling, many parks are named for Civil Rights heroes), and I even learned something new.
In the early 60s, the Central Area didn’t have any crosstown bus routes. This, of course, made it difficult for the neighborhood’s residents to travel to other parts of the city*, including (and especially) the University …
Two high-school age girls are chatting in the seat facing the back door. The conversation is lighthearted, until one of the girls casually checks the ingredients of the “juice” concoction she is drinking.
Girl 1, staring at the bottle: “Skim milk? What’s skim milk?”
Girl 2: I don’t know. “Maybe it’s like soy milk. I can drink soy milk.”
They discuss for a few minutes but neither seems to know for sure. Girl 1 starts to become agitated. Both start looking around for someone to ask and finally tap a boy about their age, who is listening to his headphones.
Not too many years ago, the bus I took most often was the 48, also known as “Forty-late,” “Dr. 48” and “the Tiger Woods* of the system.” I rode it south to Judkins Park (NAAM), Columbia City (dentist/homegirl), and Rainier Beach (friend visits), north to 23rd & Union (church, beauty shop), Montlake (545 transfer), the U District (pseudo-intellectual/artistic coffee joints, various readings and events), and Green Lake (Friday play dates).
They don’t call it Metro’s heavyweight for nothin’.
Somewhere near Blanchet, two black, high-school age girls board. They use the back door, because it’s closer to them when the bus stops.
The driver immediately starts hollering at them to come to the front and pay. His tone is harsh, definitely out of bounds for the level of infraction. The girls do as he asks but do not comment until they find their seats, at which point they begin whispering to each other in earnest.
At UW Medical Center, a blonde, twentysomething woman boards through the back door, presumably for the same reason as the girls. Again, the driver …
Still no swine flu shot for Chicklet. [Sigh.]
Pharmacy: 700 doses
Line outside pharmacy: 1,000+ people (probably closer to 2,000)
I’ve never seen a line so long–not even the time I waited for half a day to score New Year’s Eve Prince tickets. It was up to four blocks before the walk-in clinic even opened.
There’s supposedly another walk-in clinic tomorrow. It starts at 9:00. 5:48 (AM!!!) 75: …
Bus Nerd spotted this shirtless muscleman on Metro’s heavyweight not too long ago.
Folks, I know it’s been warm, but, in this economic climate, we can’t afford to play around. You know what they say: No shirt, no shoes…