Wednesday, November 2, 2011

I'm on a Bus

For two months this summer, I rode the bus to and from work every day. Please note the past tense: "rode". I can't lie, there were things about riding the bus that were not fun in the least little bit. Having to plan everything four hours in advance, for example. However, after two months I learned some things, got some stories, and happily was able to stop riding the bus. :)
One of the more important things I learned was the demographics of a bus. At least these buses, I can't speak for buses elsewhere.
     In the front of the bus, you have the driver (this should not be news!). As far as passenger seating goes, however, you also have the disabled or elderly people. They can tend to be chatty and either too loud, sharing everything with the whole bus, or too quiet, making it very difficult to hear them. They seem to be nice enough people in general, but if you don't feel like talking, don't sit in the front of the bus if you can help it.
     In the back of the bus you have the groups, if there are any, and the people who like to talk about our country's justice system. Generally speaking, they seemed to have empirical knowledge of things like law suits, jail time, and what you can/can't do on probation. Some conversations were more interesting than others, but in general I tried to avoid sitting in the back of the bus.
     That leaves the middle of the bus. For the most part, the middle of the bus is filled with everyone who does not fit into the previous two categories. People usually read or listen to music or text in the middle of the bus. If you don't want to talk to random people on the bus, the middle is your best bet. At least in Spokane.

I also met some interesting people on the bus and walking home from the bus stop to my apartment. Which leads to the interesting story part. One night as I was walking home, talking on my cell phone as I often did to have the comfort of another person in the world knowing where I was, I saw a man up ahead. He was leaning on the railing of the bridge, just kind of chillin'. It made me a little uncomfortable that he was just standing there, but I figured I would walk on by, no problem. As I approached, he tried to start up a conversation. However, it didn't go so well for him. He said, and I quote, "Hey, ladies. ... Lady. ... Hey, lady." Yeah, dude? If you saw two of me there is no way I am talking to you. I got past him safely and lolled. I mean, seriously. "Hey, lady"? Total Princess Bride moment, but also epically not.

The other fellow worth noting was 'Carlos'. One evening when I got on the bus after work, tired after a long day of work, the guy behind me started up a conversation right away. He had seen me the night before and commented on my Kindle, so used that to start up the conversation again. He acted as if he were the only person to ever comment on it [Bwa ha ha ha]. We got to talking for quite a while and he seemed like a nice enough guy. Poor Carlos' mind was slightly blown that I seemed smart and "that's so uncommon for someone your age". Just before we got to our first stop/potential bus change he informed me that I should give him my phone number. !! I just laughed it off, and he continued to insist. I then hoped for a transfer of bus so that I could get a different seat. No such luck. Oh well, still seemed like a nice guy, we continued talking. He was very open about himself. I learned that his youngest son was just starting college, his oldest son was out of college, he was recently divorced, and quite a bit more.
      After we left the stop without a change over, he asked again for my number. Dude, not giving you my number, back down. Another guy got on and sat next to him, heard what was going on and told me that, indeed, I should give him my number. You commented less than twenty minutes ago how smart I was and you think I'm going to give a stranger my number? Really? Then came the best part. He recommended that, since I didn't want to give him my number, I should go out to dinner with him to get to know him better. !!!!! Hmm, let me think about this. You're old enough to be my father, I just met you, you're divorced, and you want to take me to dinner. No.
     At the time, I wasn't sure what to think of poor Carlos. Now, I think it is hilarious. Needless to say,  I did not give him my number and did not go out with him. Not so needless to say, I didn't see him again and now that I'm driving don't have to worry about accidentally running into him.

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