Thursday, December 24, 2015

Bus Report #899

Muni at Christmastime.

With the rainy weather the buses are wet and the floors slick. People flop their soaked umbrellas up onto the seats. The windows are shut (but never tightly enough) and fogged up, making the dark streets all look identical.
People carry bags full of paper-wrapped gifts. I worry the gifts will get waterlogged in transit.

Last night, stepping off the 22 Fillmore, I see two boxes of Streit's brand matzo ball mix sitting on top of a trash can near the Castro.

Later, a chatty, catty couple on the 24 Divisadero argue about one of the men's sister's and her spoiled daughter. I've told you a million times what the problem is, said the other man. Let's not talk about it, said the uncle. Let's never talk about it again.

On the 38, a man sits down beside me and I realize he is sitting on my jacket.
Excuse me, can I just pull my coat back from under you? I ask.
I don't know, he jokes, I think it's mine now.

Across from us his friend, a pretty woman in ox blood red lipstick and a fur hood just smiles. She has a little too much makeup caked on her cheeks but her eyes are bright and intense.

A pair of smelly, fall-down-drunk, grizzled guys have a passionate discussion about economics as one of them struggles to keep upright in his seat and his friend sways with the movement of the bus.
It's not that it's the new gold rush, it's just that it's the same mentality, the standing man says.
They are funny. The woman in the fur hood cuts her eyes in their direction, then looks at me, then smiles a thin-lipped smile.
She's not the only one.
The men standing to her right grin, too, at me, at her, at their own reflections in the window.

Why do we park on a driveway but drive on a parkway? asks the standing man. His friend does not know the answer. Whaddaya mean, drive on a parkway? We don't drive anywhere.
No, no, it's a joke, get it? says his friend.

The woman in the fur hood smiles again, wider this time.
And I catch my reflection in the window and see that I'm smiling, too.

Happy New Year and Merry Christmas, all.


Anonymous Randall said...

And a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you as well, Rachel! Or should I say Mele Kalikimaka and Hau'oli Makahiki Hou, seeing where this post is coming from. (Kailua, Hawaii) So excited! I will be in San Francisco in about 5 weeks (getting off the rock I live on here in HI for awhile) and I cannot wait to experience San Francisco myself via the Muni, having read your own Muni travels on your blog. I will be staying in the Western Addition (near Divisadero and O'Farrell, which is walking distance to the (in)famous 38 Geary and the 24 Divisadero routes. It's gonna be fun! Can't wait! I may even be inspired enough to do a guest posting, should something unusual occur while I'm riding the Muni. Which, evidently, based on your reports, happens a lot! (Can you tell how psyched I am?)

9:47 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

Thanks so much, Randall!
I hope when you are here our rain will have slowed down a bit so you can spend lots of time exploring. You'll like the Western Addition, definitely check out the shops and restaurants along Divisadero and the side streets.
For a super scenic Muni trip I always recommend hopping on the F Market at its first stop in the Castro or its last stop at the Wharf. Ride the whole length of the line.
In the Castro, grab a drink at Twin Peaks or go to the Castro Theater. At the Wharf, don't bother with anything other than the Musee Mecanique and maybe grab lunch at Scoma's or another old school Italian seafood joint.
You can also get on/off at the Ferry Building for a nice stroll and super tasty snacks.
Take the 38 all the way to Ocean Beach, the Cliff House and the ruins of the Sutro Baths.
Take the 33 from the Haight down to Castro or Mission, or further towards Potrero. There's an amazing hairpin turn that is mind-boggling but fun to experience. Also, good photos of the city from waaaaay up on Market Street near Twin Peaks (the place, not Twin Peaks the bar!)
Let us know if you need any sightseeing advice. Everyone in SF will give you a zillion different opinions!

7:54 PM  

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