Tuesday, June 10, 2008

All Through The Town

Hey, guess what?


I know, it's a shocker. And here's another one for you...I started riding the bus to work today.

Now, for your basic suburban-type girl who has almost no experience riding public transportation, this is a Very Big Deal. I don't like to do things unless I know exactly what the protocol is, what I'm supposed to wear, how I'm supposed to act, where I'm supposed to be, when I'm supposed to be there, what I'm supposed to have when I'm wherever I am, and how I'm supposed to use it.

I have a fear of being caught in the middle of downtown with no way of getting home or to work. I have a fear of being late, a fear of missing my connecting transfers, a fear of having a crazed, drunken, cocaine-snorting man with a switchblade sitting next to me or accosting me at one of the transfer stations, and an even greater fear that the busdriver will be mean. I also have an innate fear that one of the female passengers will have bathed in a vat of "Charlie" that morning and the green fog of the aroma will be such that I will be unable to breathe, or that I will get carsick and throw up in the middle of the floor just because it's there.

I think these are all valid and reasonable concerns given my history and propensity to remain calm about all things bus-related.

So to prepare myself for this new venture, I emailed a friend of mine who has ridden the bus for lo, these many years.

"Price," says I, "tell me all you know about riding the bus or I will activate the little people who live in your computer and they will come out and shoot you in the thorax with darts that will sting with the fury of a thousand bees."

Because I believe in being polite and kind when I ask for information from a friend.

Price wrote back with the following fact: "There are wheels on the bus, and as I understand it they go round and round, round and round, round and round."

That Price. He used to be quite the jokester...until I unleashed the little men with the darts.

Afterwards he gave me almost all the information I needed. I say "almost" because he didn't tell me that sometimes the driver accidentally doesn't see a person standing at the stop he's supposed to stop at and that person has to RUN a block to make sure she catches up with the bus before he leaves the next stop because that's the last bus with that number going that way that will get her to work on time.

It was his revenge for the darts.

All in all it was a very pleasant experience. We'll see how the rest of the month goes. If I can keep it up, I should save about $120/month. Hubster isn't convinced I'll make it a habit at this point since I'm such an independent sort, but I'm willing to give it a month to see.

In the meantime, the wheels on the car are staying still, staying still, staying still.


Price said...

Glad to be of service! Were they any babies on the bus, and if so, did they go waah waah waah, waah waah waah, waah waah waah?

Susanne said...

Believe it or not, I take the dayhome kids on the bus for fun!

Gas is over $5 a gallon here and I live in the oil rich province.

michelle said...

I once walked about 2 or 3 miles home from campus when I was in university, because I was too afraid to take the bus without knowing what to do. My friend, who was going to take me by the hand and show me, wasn't able to do so until the second day of classes. Once I know what to expect, I am just fine, but like you, the not knowing every aspect of everything is a huge hurdle for me. I need to know what the schedule is and where my stops are and how soon I need to alert the driver, etc. I used to get up early to travel to class with my friend, way before I had a class, because being at school early, was better than messing up and being late. After practicing a few times, I am able to relax and actually (sort of) enjoy the ride and before I know it, I can expand my horizons even further onto different routes. Of course that was all years ago now. I can't remember when the last time was that I rode a bus. I commend you on your efforts!


Linds said...

I am most impressed. A bus!! Here most people know how to catch one. I prefer not to, but if one went anywhere near my work, I would SO get on and go. I am spending about $320 a month on petrol.

HeyJules said...

You go girl. One of these days you might even get brave and go outdoors with me.

Or not.

Bev said...

I can relate to the fears, I'm totally intimidated by public transportation - will I know when to get on, to get off, how to pay, etc. etc. etc. so I'm mightily impressed that you're giving it a go, but $120 a month is a big savings! I imagine those buses are going to get crowded with the price of gas.