Monday, September 14, 2009

Bus Report #454

This morning on my 38L, an elderly lady got on and slowly put her coins into the fare box. I couldn't hear very well, but she was trying to ask the driver a question about where she should get out, and he couldn't understand her. She sat right in the front and kept showing him a crumpled piece of paper.
Finally, at 6th Ave., the driver turned around and asked everyone on the bus, "does anyone here speak Chinese who can help this lady?"
No one answered. A man got on the bus and the driver asked him the same question. Jackpot. The man leaned down and politely said something to the woman, who answered him back and showed him the paper.
"She wants to go to St. Francis Hospital, I think," the man told the driver, a little uncertain.
A woman sitting near me said, "Oh, well then she'll have to switch buses because it's closer to the 1 California line."
More back and forth translating ensued, and the woman eventually got out at Divisadero, to catch a 24 bus. I hope she got where she was going.

As our bus pulled in to the Geary and Fillmore stop, I saw the 22 pulling into the Fillmore and Geary stop. I ran as fast as I could, followed by the ogler and a woman who works at Safeway, and a man with a beard and a briefcase. We tore across the street and got right up in front of the 22. The driver waved to us as if to say, I have to go but cross the street and I'll pick you up, so we did, and he didn't.
"Damn it," I said, watching the bus drive away. The ogler and the woman who works at Safeway walked to the next stop, and I waited at Fillmore, wishing I'd caught a glimpse of the bus number so I could report it.

Ten minutes later a 22 showed up and I got on.
Carmen was sitting in her usual spot, saving a seat for me. It was great to see her, we caught up with each other and joked around until it was time for her to get out.
"It's nice to see you, even if it's only sometimes," she said. "This way, we don't get sick of each other or fight."
Well, yes... I suppose that's true. Still, funny.

The little girl with her doll safely tucked into her sweatshirt sat a few rows ahead of me. She stared at the bigger boy sitting next to her, his sweatshirt a few sizes too big for him and his cornrows starting to unravel. She scooted up in her seat and stared at him some more. He either didn't notice, or he didn't mind.


Post a Comment

<< Home