Friday, January 31, 2020

Bus Report #1057

Dense, dense fog this morning, so thick it moved down the street in wide, fat ribbons.

I could barely see Andrew and his dog until they were right in front of me. We chatted a moment, and then walked on.

I waited for the bus with Jeannine, and we talked some more about cooking classes and how much we were both ready for the weekend.

The bus arrived, our driver new, friendly. She greeted everyone who got on throughout the commute, and said goodbye as each passenger disembarked. I like her.

At Dolores Park the lights were on and people were playing tennis even though the fog still obscured everything. How could the tennis players see each other? It was a mystery.
Dolores Park Cafe looked cozy today. The place was brightly lit, the windows a bit steamed up.
The special on the chalkboard was french toast and I almost went for it, but didn't. Their new-ish artwork is really lovely. I have to check it out one of these days.

They're installing traffic lights in a few places along 16th. While it might add a little time to my commute, I'm glad. Safety first, and all that.

Walked past the garage and said hey to the guys working there. The younger one was eating but raised his coffee cup in reply. I wished them a good weekend and walked the rest of the way to work.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Bus Report #1056

Be kind to your Muni drivers, friends.

Monday night around 8:15 pm I waited for the 33 after visiting C. and meeting her new kitten, A. - I recommend other people's cats, as they are fun, but you don't have to commit to taking care of them.

An empty 33 pulled up and I got on, said hi and thanks to the driver as you do.

As I walked back to my seat the driver looked at me in the mirror and said, "You know, you're the first adult to say 'thanks' to me all day. And to be friendly."

"That's awful," I told him. "I'm sorry to hear that. What's wrong with people?"
He just shrugged. "I like the little kids, though. They always say hi and talk to me and say thanks. It's

"Well, I hope you have a great rest of your shift," I said.
"I like your attitude, yeah," he replied.

It was a quiet ride that night, and we got to my stop faster than I'd expected.
I thanked him again and waved.
"Good night and god bless," he said.

A little sweetness, folks. That's all.

Last night I was late leaving for the bus after work, again. Ah well. It was a nice evening and I was in no rush. I walked down the block and turned to head towards the bus stop when once again, Stephan stopped the bus near the corner and gestured for me to hurry on. So I did.
"Thank you thank you," I said, tagging my Clipper Card.
He just smiled. "You're welcome, you're welcome," he said.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Bus Report #1055

Yesterday afternoon I left work a few minutes late, since I wasn't in a rush to get over to Divisadero. I turned the corner and saw Stephan roll down the street. No problem, I would catch the next one.

But no. He opened the window and gestured for me to come on, and he idled the bus for me.
Which I appreciated, of course.
I ran down the block and across the street, got on and thanked him and went to sit down, aware that the other commuters were eyeing me as I walked down the aisle.

I sat down between two young guys in grey zip-up sweatshirts who were unhappy to have to move their backpacks. The girl across the aisle looked up and smirked, winked at me. I grinned right back at her.

This morning was quiet and dark as I walked down to catch the bus. Greeted the older, slightly bowlegged man I see most days, and then said hi to the bakery owner.
I waited for the 33 by myself today. No Jeannine, Alain or Olga.

The bus arrived a moment later, and we were on our way.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Bus Report #1054

Hello, and how are you?

I just got home from London, where I had the opportunity to take the Tube, as well as the bus. Loved it all, for these reasons:

1. You can pay with a transit pass, or with a credit card, no need to get a special pass if you don't live there, no need to fuss around with tickets. Just tag your card the way you'd tag a Clipper card, and you're golden (you need to have a chip and pin card, so ask your card company!)

2. It is cheap! None of my rides cost more than $1.31. Most likely because it was off-peak time, but still. Cheaper than Muni, and we rode all over the place.

3. Need I say more than this: clean double-decker buses? No, I need not. But I will. While waiting in the queue at the bus stop, where everyone was waiting quietly, an older woman started talking with us, grinning and telling us about her history of broken wrist, broken arm, smushed finger.
"We need to wrap you in bubble wrap," I said, and she agreed.
Upstairs in the bus (the Holborn 8), a man was studying, while other passengers napped or played with their phones. It was so quiet, and calm, and wonderful.

I will say, the Tube must be a nightmare for anyone requiring accessibility. Not all stations have lifts and sometimes you have to take stairs to even get to the lifts. This afraid of heights traveler had more than a few moments of eyes closed, handrail gripping near-panics while navigating a couple of the Tube station escalators. One station had 96 steps down a spiral staircase to get to the train platforms. Their lift? Out of service.
I saw a family carrying a stroller down a steep set of stairs and several others with the strollers on the escalator. Heartstopping, I tell you.

Five hours after landing back at SFO, I hopped on a 33 in the Mission to get home after the Dessa show at The Chapel.
The driver smiled, asked how I was.
"I just went to a show," I said, feeding dollar bills into the machine (I'd run home, ditched the suitcase and gone back out, forgetting my Clipper card). "Got back from the airport with just enough time to get there. Just in time for the headliner."
"Cool, cool, I'm just working," he said. For the rest of the ride, he greeted all the passengers, told everyone to get home safe when they disembarked. That's why I love this so much, I thought. Drivers like this guy. Let's call him Matt. He seems like a Matt.

Yesterday morning, Jeannine, the early morning nurse on the 33, told me about a cooking class she took, and now I want to do the same. She learned how to make croissants! Who wouldn't want to do that? We chatted about her class, and then wondered why we haven't seen Olga lately. I hope she's doing well, and just getting a later start to her day these days.

Stephan is our super-trouper afternoon driver. Always has a wave and a smile for me. I really have to remember to get him a coffee card, soon.

This morning, the mom and her two sons were on the bus. The older son being a typical (yet as always, lovely) tween, the younger son sitting quietly next to his mom.
A man got on at Mission Street, pulling a cart behind him. He sat across from them and talked with the mom, made goony faces at the little boy.