In the Bus Bag
Unaccustomed Earth, by Jhumpa Lahiri
Tag Archives: living the life
We bus chicks tend to (quite literally) walk our behinds off. While all this walking might be good for our bodies, it’s not so good for our footwear. After all, there are only so many times a girl can replace the heels on her favorite pair of boots.
Recently, I mentioned this problem to my friend Arif, a fellow bus rider who also happens to have one of the most amazing collections of shoes I have ever seen. Arif walks almost as much as I do, but his shoes always look like he just took them out …
Every once in a while, I ride the bus with someone I find extremely compelling–and I don’t mean in the hot guy sort of way. Sometimes, they are beautiful people–handsome men or cute kids or women I admire. Mostly, though, they are folks I’d like to talk to–because they’re reading a good book, or wearing something cool, or just generally giving off an interesting vibe.
Today I rode the 8 with an old man who looked so much like my (deceased) grandpa I couldn’t take my eyes off him. It’s a good thing he got off shortly …
Because I am shy, nosy, and able to simultaneously process information from multiple sources, I am well-suited to one of my favorite bus-riding pastimes: eavesdropping. I am an expert eavesdropper. In fact, I am the Queen of Eavesdroppers. That is, as long as everyone I’m eavesdropping on is speaking English.
Despite my early plans to become a polyglot, the only foreign language I can speak well enough to claim (thanks to a few childhood years in Morocco and many years of study in the States) is French. Unfortunately, though I am able to carry on reasonable conversations, my …
Bus rule #1:
If your morning bus to work is late–really late–and you wait for what seems like forever (hours surely), and when it finally arrives, it is bursting-at-the-seams crowded, so packed with people that you can remain upright without holding on (if, that is, you don’t mind making a few friends on the ride), you will be rewarded, upon disembarking, with the sight of another bus, the same route number, but articulated this time, whizzing past your crowded bus–completely empty.
Bus rule #2:
If there is a person on your bus who is behaving oddly …
After the event, we hopped on the 4 and headed home. That’s where the real fun began. Traffic on 3rd was being rerouted because of some kind of accident or blockage between Cherry and James. Of course, rerouting a trolley is no joke, since trolleys are powered by wires that run on a predefined route. The 4 heads east on James, so the driver had to go around: He turned right on Cherry, …
Last night, I met my brother Jeremy (aka Saulty) at The Apartment after work. On my walk from the bus stop, a man stopped me and asked, in very broken English, how to get to the airport. I don’t know if the man had highly sensitive buschick-dar or is just very lucky, but either way, he came to the right place.
I walked him to the 194 stop on 2nd & Pike and in the process learned:
• He is from Turkey.
• He spent the summer working in a cannery in Alaska.
• He wanted to …
On Saturday, on the 48, I sat behind a man transporting case of a certain poultry-inspired brand of bourbon. That stuff ain’t cheap. Perhaps he’d recently visited the coin-counting machine at his credit union.
For some reason I have yet to understand, Bus Nerd has entirely too much change. Everywhere he goes, change follows. It is in his pants pockets, in his coat pockets, in his busnerd bag. If you’re ever short bus fare, search the cushions of a couch he has recently sat on; you’re sure to find at least a couple of trips’ worth. And don’t get me started on his (former) bedroom. His spare-change jar filled up at least a year ago, subsequently overflowing onto his nightstand and into …
The wedding festivities are over and done with, and Busnerd (aka Mr. Bus Chick) and I are taking a lot of naps. Whew! Getting married is exhausting. We are grateful for Flexcar (used my membership quite a bit in the past 10 days), but I am happy to be back in my normal bus groove.
For those who asked: We did have a “wedding bus.” We rented an old-school Seattle Transit bus from MEHVA (Metro Employees Historic Vehicle Association) to transport guests from the ceremony to the reception. The bus also picked up out-of-towners at a downtown hotel. …
Most people hate going to the dentist, but I always look forward to it. Of course, this is probably not a surprise to the people who know me, since my preferences trend outside the mainstream. (My brother Jeremy once said to me, “Carla, your ‘cute’ is everyone else’s ‘daaaaaaaaaaaaang’!”) In this case, though, I have a good reason to like my dentist: She is also my friend.
I’ve known Kelley since I was six years old, back when her father was my dentist and she and I were first-grade classmates. Back in the day, I liked going to …