Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Tales of Public Transportation.

So before I left my mom told me that it would be hard to adjust to taking public transportation to work everyday. I shrugged and didn't think much about it. I didn't anticipate it being a hard transition for me, and really it hasn't been. Sure, it takes a hell of a lot longer to get to work and back, but I always see it as a fun experience. You never know who's gonna be on the bus you catch,... you don't know if it's gonna be packed to complete claustrophobia levels or if you'll be the only soul on there..... I think it's even fun to see what bus driver you get and if you recognize them from any previous bus riding experiences.

I wish I had a camera so that I could properly document some of my experiences on the muni so far. Unfortunately my camera was recently destroyed in a bad open container in purse escapade. Words really can't do justice to some of the visions these eyes have seen. But I will do my best.

*Recent experiences have exposed me to things such as a lovers feud at 7am near the stop I catch my first bus to work at in the morning. I was on the phone with a friend of mine talking about the state of the union and things of that nature when a larger black man with a full grill of gold asked to bum a cigarette. Me being the nice and humane indvidual I am, I put my phone conversation on the back burner and managed to pull a parli out of the depths of my "way too big" purse. I gave it to "gold teeth" and tried to continue my conversation. Well he wanted to join in. He asked me where I was headed, whether or not I was going to school, where I worked,.... obviouslly I was on the phone. Moments later a man comes quickly by followed by a screaming girlfriend of his... he picked up his pace and was soon sprinting down my street with her chasing behind. I continued my conversation but damn.... a lot of action all before 8am.

*I have a favorite "neighbor" if you will. She (?) lives on Treasure Island also... I've seen her several times now and she's always in "uniform". She makes me really wish my camera was functioning. Might I paint a picture? Please, allow me.
4'5" possibly.
Black (girl?)
Hair in cornrows that create little pointy mountain kind.
A slipknot shirt.
Black cargo shorts hitting at the knee.
Combat boots of sorts.
Multiple studded belts.
A spike collar.
THE KICKER: Fly-like raver goggles that she wears ON her eyes at all times.
...oh and a North Face backpack, of course. Obviouslly.

*I overheard a woman at the bus stop yesterday saying that on her way to work the bus driver stopped and told everyone they had to get off unless two somewhat obnoxious girls got off. The bus was stalled for maybe twenty minutes over the feud and I guess this isn't the first time it's happened. I guess drivers are putting their foot down these days to stop the idiocy. As a result I got on the bus the following day to a police escort riding along with us.

*There's a corner I pass every day to and from work. 1st and Mission isn't overly inhabited by bums but it still smells like piss and bo all day everyday. I wonder how that stuck so hard and what uber smelly bum is responsible.

*Yesterday I got on a crowded bus from upper haight on my way home for the day. I had just gotten a coffee and have to admit I was a little nervous about having to stand (for lack of seating) with a full coffee while the driver might make some screeching stops. I mean, it could be disastrous. And this was my first time at this. Luckily, I got a seat and it was right next to a smelly older gentlemen probably in his late 60's. He told me he's seen me around town because he recognized my tattoos. He asked me what I did and I said I was a designer. He proceeded to tell me that he also was a designer and specialized in war attire.
The best part is that I found a small place in my mind to maybe believe him.

*The bus to my house is the ONLY bus that goes to Treasure Island. The riders of the bus are about 80% black and most like to cause a ruckus. Common cliche occurrences on the morning ride:

.People playing music loudly from their phone and singing along.

.Kids carving or drawing on any blank spot inside the bus.

.People talking like jerks on the phone to their significant other... SO loudly that I've gathered pretty much all the details of their life together.

.Black middle age women talking about how much time they have clean (always while they're eating potato chips. I don't know why). There's a sober living or some kind of rehabilitation program on the island.

.And then the very minority white business woman who's just trying to get to work and is overly annoyed with the transportation situation she's in to get there. This woman described would NOT be me. I love it. It's entertainment.

This is why I don't need a tv.


  1. i will see you soon my friend!

  2. Hi Char. You certainly have knack for some pretty articulate description. Anywho, i read a few other posts and, can we get lunch? I think that i will be doing fieldwork next week, which means that i will have a car and could show up in yo hood if that works. Sorry i didnt get to see you last week, i generally flee the city like a mad man on the 56 bus north which leads to flakey plan making on my part.

  3. i told you that the buss wasn't so bad :-) it is fun!!