In the Bus Bag
Unaccustomed Earth, by Jhumpa Lahiri
Tag Archives: community
This evening, as I walked through Little Saigon toward home, a sweet-faced kid tried to sell me an Amway lip gloss–with a lighted wand and built-in mirror–out of his backpack.
Drivers: What you got?
This month marks the 10-year anniversary of my full-time relationship with Metro. The milestone snuck up on me, which is actually a good thing, since I’m not in the mood for a retrospective, and I don’t have any wise words about what I’ve learned in a decade of living, working, and parenting without a car. Honestly (in case the five full months without a post didn’t clue you in) I haven’t felt much like writing about the bus at all.
What’s on my mind most of the time is how our family is going to continue to make this bus life …
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 …
One of the biggest benefits of riding transit with little ones is that you can actually pay attention to them while you travel. Instead of hollering in the general direction of the back seat (or worse, resorting to an in-vehicle entertainment system to keep order), PT parents can have meaningful, even educational, interactions with their little darlings. Here are some examples of brain- and bond-enhancing ways to use transit travel time.
- Read! Reading is a great PT pastime for children of any age. Research shows that reading to infants and young children helps with bonding, language development, and …
In honor of Black History Month, I’m reposting this entry from last February.
“What I learned on the 27
This is not a totem pole.
I never really looked at this library landmark (despite the kajillion times I have walked and ridden past it) until a late-evening bus conversation with a history-loving fellow native of the 2-0-sickness. After I explained the origins of Chicklet’s name, he decided we were kindred spirits and so proceeded to school me about–among other things–the
On a recent Wednesday, I got to talking with the man in line in front of me at the grocery store. He was an older man, probably a good decade older than my father, and he showed a lot of interest in Busling. His eyes lingered long after the initial “Look at the baby!”, and he asked lots of questions–the kind asked by people who are missing the days when their own were still tiny. So, to keep the conversation from being completely one-sided, I asked the man if he had children.
“Yes, two grandchildren,” he said, “a …
Last night, on a late-evening 71, I sat next to a man who was really into cigars. He was carrying a handful, which he had apparently just purchased at a nearby smoke shop.
“They’re rejects,” he told me. “Maybe they’re rolled too tight or something. They normally sell for 15 bucks* a piece.”
Of course, that prompted me to ask about the qualities of a cigar that costs the equivalent of eight peak-hour bus rides (not including transfers) which prompted him to explain about fine tobacco, and timing, and hand-rolling. It was quite an education.
Somewhere in the course of …
The sun did, indeed, shine on Columbia City today.
For a few minutes after I passed the barricade, I stayed on the sidewalk (30+ years of conditioning are hard to overcome)–until I realized I didn’t have to. What an exhilarating feeling to step off the curb and stroll down the middle of the street!
Hoops, hopscotch, and hula hoopin’:
On Wednesday, as Chicklet and I settled into a seat on our favorite route, an elderly woman I had never seen before sat down next to us, looked at Chicklet like she knew her, and said, “I just saw your uncle over at the University of Washington.”
I was about to tell her that she had us confused with another bus riding mother-daughter team when she said, “I had to get a few x-rays and some work on my crown.”
Aha! She had indeed seen Chicklet’s uncle, my brother Joel, an almost-dentist who sees patients at the UW’s dental …
On our first 358 ride to visit Jeremy, Chicklet and I sat next to a woman who, despite getting off on the wrong foot by asking one of those questions, turned out to be alright. She was on a bus excursion–which had started in Ocean Shores at 10 AM and was going to end in Everett late in the evening (!)– to pick up her two-year old granddaughter. (I think she mentioned why she decided not to opt for Greyhound, but I can’t remember the reason.) By the time our paths crossed on the 358, she was on her …