Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Bus Report #641

Another day with bad afternoon 22 service.
Fifteen minutes waiting in the sun by Thee Parkside for a diesel bus.
I sat in the back, squished between a woman who was asleep and a man with an overstuffed backpack on his lap, his legs spread wide. He did not give up any leg room, no matter how much I wiggled in the seat.
The bus started and stopped, jerked back and forth. Was the driver unused to driving the diesel coaches?
At Mission one of the Ethiopian ladies who is often on my bus in the morning got on and stood in front of me. Her friend got on. He had four heavy bags of groceries and they kept sliding across the floor. The bus was too crowded for anyone to move, or I would have offered him my seat.
At Herman Street my sleeping seatmate woke up and dashed off the bus. Had she missed her stop, I wondered? How far back?
The man with the groceries gestured for another regular rider to sit down. She told him he could sit, but he shook his head and gestured again for her to take it.
"We can hold your bags," I offered him. My new seatmate nodded.
"Yes," she said, "It's no problem."
He looked to the Ethiopian woman for a translation. She gave it, and he smiled at us but shook his head all the same.
My new seatmate looked over at me and said, "What's up with this driver? This is awful."
"I know. I think some drivers are out today or something. This is really weird."
When we reached Geary I got out and ran across the street to catch the 38.
Several regulars were there, too: the woman who always gets on at 16th and Church, some of the older gentlemen who usually get out at Masonic, and, for the second time in as many weeks, Carmen.
We sat in the back of the bus and she said, "I have my photos from my trip, want to see them?"
We paged through her photo album as the bus rattled up the hill. They were great photos, so colorful and beautiful.
We flipped the last page just as the bus neared my stop.
"Thanks for sharing," I said. "Nos vemos muy pronto."
I waved at her and stepped down onto a chilly Geary corner, and headed home.


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