Thursday, September 9, 2010

Bus Ridin' in the Rain

I'm on the bus again heading to work. I can still smell the experience from yesterday as mildew starts to grow. Yesterday, as many already know, was a pretty eventful day for weather. It culminated at about 6:30 for Angela and me as we saw that the funnel cloud had passed and time had come to put the mattress back on the bed and go to our bible study.

The start of the day was also pretty eventful. I decided to take the bus, because I wante
d to see who rides the bus in bad weather. Since the bus had been coming a few minutes early these past few weeks, I decided to leave my apartment at 8:10 to catch the 8:18. I had shoes at the office, so I rolled up my pants and put on my flip-flops. As soon as I left my apartment, I realized the bus wasn't going to be early. The light at Lemmon and Inwood was flashing red (and still is), and cars were waiting as far as I could see in all directions. About the time I saw this the wind picked up rendering my umbrella useless except for keeping my already wet hair from getting wetter.

I quickly walked to CVS to seek shelter for a few minutes, pretending to look for a drink. When I became nervous that the bus might pass, I went back outside. Instead of standing at the stop where rain was blowing and cars were splashing, I found the one dry circle at the side of the CVS and began watching the intersection while the propane containers watched me from their cages.

Thirty minutes later, at about the time the next bus usually arrives, I saw my bus approach the intersection. I walked back out to the stop one car too early--the car hit the puddle and splashed my legs. Once on the bus it wasn't too bad. Every time the bus would slow down, a river of water would cascade to the front. When it sped up again, the water evened back out.

This blog has gone on way too long without talking about the purpose of my bus ride: the other people. I have a car and a bike, so I have options. Most people who ride the bus can't say the same. I guess part of me was expecting to see only the poorer population that rides the bus taking the bus in the rain. But to my surprise it was basically the same crowd that takes the bus every morning: some with no jobs, some with well-paying jobs; most alone, but some with friends or kids. Every race was represented as usual. I also expected people to be in bad moods. Again, I was wrong. Some people were tired like every morning, but I think most were just happy to be on the bus.

As I try to close this over-long entry, I'm trying to think about conclusions I can make about my experience yesterday. I guess I can break it down into two things: (1) People ride the bus because it's the better option most of the time, and (2) getting wet on your way to work isn't as bad as most people make it out to be. Not strong conclusions, but I think they are filled with truth.

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