Monday, October 31, 2011

Bus Report #649

Halloween, the time of year when it is most hard to tell who is in costume and who is in their regular dress.
Woman in slightly ratty Ewok costume, sitting across the aisle from me on the 22 Fillmore - Costume.
Man in normal clothes and skeleton mask, sitting next to me, 38 Geary - Costume.
Young twenty-something man with waxed handlebar mustache, porkpie hat and skinny jeans on the 33 Stanyan - I'm going to guess not costume. Barista or bar tender? Bicycle shop employee?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Bus Report #648

Last night My seatmate on the 22 was a very pale man in a baseball cap who, on reflection, looked like a grown-up Charlie Brown.
He read a Terry Pratchett book, very, very slowly.

Across from us, two women in full Muslim dress chatted loudly until we got to their stop. They stepped down from the bus at Haight, in front of the shuttered Estela's, which bore a sign reading: ESTELA'S WILL BE BACK!

I was glad to read that.

A petite elderly man got on the bus with a tote bag that said, 'Danger, Men Cooking'.

Our bus idled longer than it should have at Geary.
Two teenage boys, tired of waiting, sighed loudly and left through the back doors.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Bus Report #647

The 22 Fillmore is always an adventure in the afternoons, especially if you're carrying a large and ungainly package marked FRAGILE.
I got on the 22 and sat towards the back of the bus in a window seat. It was hot out, and bright, and I was sweaty and uncomfortable by the time we got to Potrero.
A woman got on at Bryant, huffing and puffing, wearing a brown shirt and hot pink pants, both items oddly shiny.
She sat down beside me and a wave of patchouli came off of her.
I thought I might be sick.
The window above me was stuck closed and when she tried to open it, another hit of patchouli wafted off of her.
"It's stuck," I said.
"Figures," she said.
She got out at Safeway (as I had predicted - my clue? The Safeway circular in her hands) and I took a deep breath of outside air as the doors snapped open.
My next seatmate was a man who got on at Haight, forgettable except for his curly mustache that he couldn't stop stroking.
I got out at Sutter without incident, and my cardboard box made it home only a little worse for the wear.

Bus Report #646

The light is changing in the mornings, so that it is still dark when I get down to Fillmore.
Monday morning I jogged across Geary to catch the 22.
The driver, on the route for about a month, saw me and smiled, and held the bus for me.
"Where've you been?" he asked, as I tagged my Clipper card.
"Vacation," I told him.
"I thought so," he said.

An easy morning commute for my first day back at work after a week in Barcelona. Jetlagged but otherwise fine, I watched Fillmore Street change into Church Street and then into 16th.
I was home.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Bus Report #645

Last night after hanging out with J. I looked down the street to see if the 24 was coming.
I hadn't expected it to be arriving, but it was! We said goodnight and he walked home, and I got on the 24 and rode towards Geary.
Two kids in the front of the bus had a box of pizza on the seat next to them.
A very vocal, rumpled looking man kept asking for a slice, but the kids just laughed politely and said nothing.
When I got out at Geary to catch the 38, I could see the lights of the bus approaching from Fillmore Street.
The bus was quiet and fairly empty.
I sat in the back near a man practicing calligraphy (and writing the days of the week in Italian, I think). He put away his markers and took a library book out of his bag. A biography of Sal Mineo.
Ah, dreamy Sal Mineo. He looked at the photos for a while and I realized I hadn't seen Rebel Without A Cause in a long time.
He gathered his books, supplies and a box of groceries and got out at 3rd Ave.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Bus Report #644

The 22 was crowded yesterday, and when we got to Mission Street people had to push their way off of the bus.
My seatmate got up and started down the stairs. They were slippery from the rain, though, and she slipped and fell.
For a moment no one did anything, then someone in the back of the bus said, "Help her up!"
A couple of people helped her up and led her over to the bus shelter to sit down.
She wasn't crying but her face was all scrunched up and you could tell she was in a lot of pain.
People were talking to her outside, and the driver got out and went over to talk to her, too.
Then he got back on the bus and without saying anything to anyone, he took the bus out of service and called in to report the accident.
There was no doubt that he did the right thing by calling it in, but it drives me nuts when the drivers don't make an announcement to the passengers that the bus is going out of service.
For the second time in a week (first time was the Lower Haight fire, my bus just stopped at Church and without any explanation the driver got out and didn't budge, It took someone in the front of the bus to confirm the bus was stopping and to let everyone know) we all had to figure out for ourselves why we weren't moving.
Does anyone know if the drivers are required to make an announcement? Or are we all supposed to have ESP?
I was annoyed, not at my poor seatmate but at the driver.
I crossed the street to wait for a 33 Stanyan, that took fifteen minutes to arrive when NextBus promised a five minute wait.
My commute home sucked, but I couldn't really complain. After all, I wasn't the one who fell down the stairs.