Monday, May 16, 2011

Bus Report #608

Sunday, race day, but I planned to stay as far away from the action as possible.
I had errands to run down near Polk Street so I walked out to California to catch the 1 California.
The bus was already full when I got on - packed with costumed people heading away from the beach.
Three butterflies, a graduate, some people dressed in knee socks and sweatbands.
The bus smelled, too, like a sweaty locker room.
I stood in the back next to another trio of runners, their numbers still pinned to their T-shirts.
By Laguna, the bus was even more packed, and a kid who was old enough to know better was kicking me, his mother not doing anything to stop him.
I escaped at Van Ness.

Later, on the way home:
Waited for the 2 Clement at Sutter and Polk. A man sat in the bus shelter, waving his cane at any cab that passed by.
"You need a cab?" I asked him, stepping into the street.
"They're not stopping," he said. "If you can get one, I'd be grateful."
I can almost always get a cab - not sure if it's luck, a hidden skill, or just that I'm a woman. I confidently raised my arm and tried to hail one of four cabs idling at the light.
The light changed, and they all sped past, ignoring me, ignoring the man with the cane.
"I don't understand it," he said, echoing my thoughts. "I'm from New York originally and there, you step off the curb and there are five cabs right there."
"I know, it's weird," I said. "I'll keep trying until the bus comes, but I see it up the hill so it'll be here in a minute."
"Maybe I'll just take that," said the man with the cane.
When the bus arrived, I waited for the man and several elderly ladies to get on, then I got on and moved to the back of the bus.
The man with the cane nodded at me from his seat in the front of the bus. "Thanks for trying," he said.


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