Residential Space A creative outlet during residency, turned ongoing virtual soap box

Fed Up With Buses  1

Posted on July 10th, 2007. About Ramblings.

In keeping with the style of my beloved husband, I am feeling rather – let’s say, inspired – to blog about two specific experiences on Seattle buses over the past week.

Allow me to set the tone here: I am due to give birth on July 17th, which places me at 39 weeks pregnant during today’s episode, and 38–plus week’s during last week’s. It’s also supposed to hit 91 degrees here today, meaning it’s a hot time of the year. Plus, let’s not forget the whole “trying to be a good citizen” thing by striving to take the bus in the first place – although, at this point, I’ll be frank enough to say that I’m mostly using the bus because parking where I’m working this month is a rip-off, and Evan, while able to drop me off in the mornings on his way to work, is unable to pick me up as my days are ending much earlier than his are.

Without further ado:

Episode One: Last week, July 5, 2007

The walk from the office where I’m working to the bus stop is approximately four city blocks. I checked the appropriate website to obtain my estimate of when the #4 bus would be coming by, left an appropriate amount of time to arrive at the bus stop, and waited. The bus that I presume was supposed to be the #4 came by, but had “TRM” across the front, meaning it was returning to the terminal instead of stopping to pick me up. So I waited nearly 20 minutes for the next bus to come by, which was a #3, the driver of which assured me that a #4 bus had just been by minutes in front of her. Regardless, I climbed on this bus, which would get me halfway home, got off, walked a few more blocks to catch the #48 the rest of the way home, and several minutes later found myself in the midst of a two-minute wind storm that blew dirt all over me from the nearby construction site. I killed time by calling a friend, and finally, the bus came. Total time it took to travel the approximately 2.5 miles from my workplace to my condo – one hour and 10 minutes.

Episode Two: Today, July 10, 2007

My total travel time today was more like 35–40 minutes, but the experience was worse. I made the walk from the office to the #4 bus stop (by the way, my options for bus routes from point A to point B are fairly limited, in case anyone is wondering why not a different bus), which was expected to arrive at 3:02 PM. It was very hot. I am very pregnant. Fortunately, the covered bus shelter at Jefferson and Broadway was empty, so I sat on the bench, enjoying the shade. About five minutes into my wait, a woman wandered over and made conversation with me about how hot it was. Okay, sure – it was hot. Then, another woman came over (I won’t be too descriptive here about these individuals, but let’s just say I wasn’t too comfortable with them hovering over me). Woman #2 started screaming at Woman #1 about how she had stolen her lighter, a charge which Woman #1 emphatically denied. Woman #2 lit a joint, sat down next to me on the bench, and started yelling again at Woman #1 as she blew smoke in my face. I stood up and stepped away from the bus shelter, with Woman #2 glaring at me, as if angry that I didn’t wish to sit next to her. Woman #1, as if forgetting that she’s angry with Woman #1, picked up two old Seattle’s best paper cups off of the ground, pulled out a paper bag, and poured a drinkable substance into each of them, handing one to the other woman. As they drank and passed the joint back and forth, I sent a message to Evan, telling him to remember that if anything were to happen to me, that I loved him. 3:03. 3:04. 3:05. WHERE IS THE BUS?!

They’re yelling at each other. Now they’re drinking together. Now they’re yelling at each other again. In the midst of this, a group of guys lying on the grass across the street in sleeping bags started yelling to me, wanting to know if I was having a boy or a girl. The whistling and catcalls started, and I was feeling horrified and embarrassed.

Finally the bus arrived and I got on. It was hot, and there was nowhere to sit. This one woman eagerly leapt from her seat, offering it to me, which I took and thanked her. My new seatmate offered me her place next to the window if I’d be more comfortable, to which I said no thanks, but I appreciated the offer. So things seem better now – until my seatmate suddenly screamed to the whole bus: “Fu**ing illegals need to learn English if they’re gonna fu**in’work for the government!!” She then began this dialogue with herself, speaking in two different voices, each voice arguing why illegal immigrants are so terrible. I looked carefully to make sure she wasn’t wearning a bluetooth headset or something – maybe she’s just a little nuts, but actually is talking to someone else? No such luck. She continued to yell obscene offensive phrases to a bus full of people. The woman who had offered me her seat smiled at me as she got off at her stop. She must have known!

Anyway, who knows how many more bus adventures there will be.

 

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