Terra Nomad

Every day is like survival. You're my lover, not my rival.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Transit Woes

Is there something in the water? Twice this week I have boarded a crowded number 11 bus to head home from work and seen almost every seat full except a window seat near the back door. Both times there was a woman sitting in the aisle seat blocking the empty seat and I stood in the aisle and said, "Excuse me." To most people this means, "Could you move for just a second so I can sit down," but not to these ladies. They each just turned their legs into the aisle, leaving about 7 inches for me to squeeze my not-skinny, winter-coat-covered body through! I am tired of seeing people take up more than one seat on the bus, not because they need to, but just so they can be comfortable while other people have to stand. Your bag is not more important than another person, and that other person paid the same fare you did and their butt deserves just as much room as yours does. If you insist on the aisle seat, at least stand up to let a person sit in the window seat when they politely ask you.

In 1998, I was riding the bus home from library and it started to get very crowded. One kid was taking up a whole two seater by stretching his legs out so no one could sit down. A guy asked him to move, and when the kid wouldn't, the guy sat down anyway, pushing the kid's legs further over. They exchanged some choice words and it escalated into a fight when the guy was about to get off the bus. Imagine, two idiots fighting in a 2 1/2 foot wide bus aisle, that is full of other people! I was sitting next to another girl and we both just put our hands over our heads and ducked down. It wasn't long before other passengers got the two to stop fighting and the police arrived. They wanted people to be witnesses, but I had not seen enough to know who had started the fight. I just hope the guy didn't get into any more trouble if the kid was under 18, since the kid was being an ass.

One morning this week I was sitting next to a woman on her cell phone. She told the person on the phone about how drunk she was last weekend and then they get into an argument about how she doesn't want to have a long term relationship. Hey, maybe you should have private conversations in private! There is also a guy who rides my bus home who will talk loudly with anyone around him who will respond. He doesn't seem to understand that whole bus doesn't want to hear his opinion on politics, war, local issues and "that internet".

Passengers are not the only offenders on buses, however. The drivers can also make for a lovely ride. Just before Thanksgiving, I had a driver who made a racist comment about some men he thought were going to board the bus. I was shocked at a the time and couldn't think of anything to say to him. I reported the incident on the website, but haven't heard anything back yet. My sister told me that she recently witnessed and elderly lady fall of a wheelchair lift while it was in motion. The woman had pushed her husband onto the lift and stood behind him while the driver started the lift. After she fell, the driver was mad because he had to fill out a report, and yelled at the woman that she wasn't supposed to be on the lift with the chair. Hmm, I think it's the driver's responsibility to make sure there is only one person on the lift before he starts moving it.



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