Tag Archives: waiting

Westbound 8 & 27 stop, 10:55 AM

Chicklet, Busling, and I are waiting for a slightly late 27/17 to visit my brother in Ballard.

Chicklet: “I wish the bus would do certain things.”
Bus Chick: “What things?”
Chicklet: “Take us to Uncle Jeremy’s house right now.”

Northbound 17, 11:30 AM (en route)

Somewhere on Dexter, we get a great view of Busling’s favorite building out our window.

Busling, hollering: “Hello, Space Needle! Helloooo Space Needle!”

Eventually, another building blocks his view.

Busling: “I don’t want to say goodbye.”

Eastbound 14 (et al) stop, 5th & Jackson

A 60-ish, somewhat disheveled man approaches and addresses me in several languages (Amharic, Spanish, Italian) trying to figure out which I speak. We finally settle on a mix of French and English, and (thanks to my growing belly) immediately start talking parenthood. He tells me I remind him of his daughter, who was recently married. “It was in the New York Times,” he says, fishing a crumpled piece of newsprint out of his wallet.

He points to some text under the photo of the handsome, smiling couple, the part that tells about the bride’s family in Seattle, then pulls out his license to show me that his name matches the name of the father listed in the announcement.

“See? That’s me,” he says. “Me.”

We talk for a few minutes longer, about Chicklet, and my due date, and how I am feeling.

Abruptly, he pulls a wilted, slightly blackened red rose from his coat pocket, thrusts it into my hand, and prepares to leave.

“Take care of the babies,” he says, smiling. “Take care of your precious babies.”

His eyes are filled with tears.

Northbound 4/48 stop @ 23rd & Yesler, 5 PM

A high-school age boy and girl, both carrying instruments (and presumably just leaving band/orchestra practice) are passing the time while waiting for the 48. They call a few friends who are also waiting for the 48 several stops north, then spend a few moments discussing whether they missed it or it’s really, really late. This apparently reminds the girl of a recent adventure.

Band Nerd Girl: “Last summer, when I was in Israel …”
Band Nerd Boy: “Dude, are you Jewish?”
BNG: “Yes.” [long pause, long sigh] “But just ’cause I went to Israel doesn’t make me Jewish.”
BNB: “Oh I know. But well, if you went to Israel and you’re still in high school, then that would probably mean … Well I guess maybe not with your parents …”

He continues to flail until the girl interrupts him.

BNG: “As I was saying, last summer, when I was in Israel …”

I could learn a thing or two from this young bus chick.

The conversation recovers, and they return to the safer territory of class work and mutual friends, until the boy becomes too distracted by his impatience for the bus to arrive. A 4 passes. An 8 (which can look promising to the untrained eye) turns right before it reaches us. An empty artic is headed “To Terminal.” Finally, a fourth bus approaches in the distance.

BNB: “This one better be the 48.”
BNG: “If it’s not, what are you going to do?”

Excellent question, my dear. Excellent question.

Waiting time (or, Timing the wait)

WaitingWhen it comes to waiting for the bus, I’m more than a little bit anal. I like to get to the stop early, have my pass ready (on “pay as you enter” rides, that is), my book out, and be standing right next to the sign by the time the bus arrives. (Yeah, yeah–just call me the driver’s pet.)

Bus Nerd’s approach to waiting is a bit (OK, a lot) different from mine. (I wrote about our differences in a recent Real Change column about riding styles.) He’d rather not waste time waiting at a stop, so he rushes out the door at the last minute — often just as the bus is arriving, occasionally after it has already passed. If you added up my daily 2-5 minutes and his occasional 15, we’d probably come out just about even.

Your turn. Where do you stand on standing (and sitting) at stops?

For better or worse, part III

For better: The 48, where everybody knows your name

On Friday, Chicklet and I traveled to the Eastside (48 + 545) to meet Bus Nerd for lunch. My parental leave is quickly dwindling, and we’re trying to get in all the family bonding time we can. I digress.

The 48 ride was one of those cool trips where it feels like you know everyone on the bus. We ran into my friend Paulette, whom I met several years ago (through Bus Nerd) on the 3. Actually, I originally met Paulette many years earlier, when I was still a child, because, as we discovered upon our second meeting on the 3, she knew my dad. Again, I digress.

Paulette is a teacher and a student, and she was on her way to the UW to make copies of some old bound issues of Labor’s Heritage, to do research for a class about education for revolution, or the revolution of education, or some equally cool subject.

I didn’t catch all of the details about her class because in the middle of our conversation, Sarah B, a woman I went to high school with, sat down next to us. Sarah was also on her way to the U, no doubt to work on her dissertation, so she can go ahead and knock out that PhD in environmental anthropology.

We all got to talking–about the sunny weather, the origins of Chicklet’s name, and Paulette’s blog (about local eating) for the Splendid Table.

I got so caught up in conversation that Chicklet and I missed our stop and had to backtrack a couple of blocks (in the sunshine!) to Montlake Freeway Station to catch our transfer.

For worse: Freeway station interrogation

Just as Chicklet and I had settled in on the bench to await the trusty 545, a rather odd man (there were no obvious outward signs of his oddness, but I have very sensitive insanedar, honed from a lifetime of bus riding) sat down next to us.

Odd Man: “Have you seen the 265?”
Bus Chick: “I’ve only been here a few minutes, but I haven’t seen it.”
OM: “But what time is it supposed to get here?”
BC, gesturing toward the enormous sign to our left: “Schedule’s right there.”
OM: “Yeah, but it doesn’t have the 265 on it.”

Having no more help to offer the man, I turned back to Chicklet.

OM: “Is that your only child?”
BC: “Yep.”

And then, with absolutely no transition, he followed with one of my favorite questions:

“Are you half black?”

Of course I could have (possibly should have) shut him down at that point, but I’m a curious person (though apparently not as curious as some), and I wanted to see where his questions were leading.

BC: “Yes, I am.”

He continued to ask (How many siblings do you have? Are your parents still married?) and I continued to answer, until he started asking too many questions about my mother’s death, and I decided I’d had enough.

BC: “These questions are a bit personal, wouldn’t you say?”
OM: “Oh yeah. I bet I’m the only one who’s asked you this stuff, huh?”

Not by a long shot, buddy. Not by a long shot.

Finally, the 255, arrived, (not the bus he’d asked about but apparently the one he decided to take) and he got up. As he waited in line to board, he turned to me one last time.

“Say, is your husband black or white?”