Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Metro Journal: May 12 Once Burned

I heard 5 distinct languages on the 780 this morning: Armenian, Spanish, some form of Chinese, Japanese, and English. Although I think the only English I heard was the automating voice announcing, "Next stop, blah," and, "Stop Requested. Please use rear exit."

Now, about that rear exit thing. I can sort of understand the elderly people who sit near the front using it, but I've seen perfectly able-bodied people walk from behind the rear door up to the front door. Then you have people waiting to get on, and if they're really obnoxious and short-sighted, they won't even get out of the way of the people trying to get off. You get gridlock. Morons.

Anyway, a man with a gig bag for an electric guitar strapped to his back got on at my stop. He also got off at Hollywood and Vine. *Every* person I've seen on the bus with a guitar strapped to their back gets off at Hollywood and Vine. The difference is that, while these people are usually dressed like heavy metal wannabes and in their early 20s, this man was probably late 30s and wearing a tweed-y suit. And instead of long, unkempt, black hair, he had a receding hairline.

There's a woman who stands at the corner of Hollywood and Vine passing out leaflets for a tour bus. She is there almost every morning. I have been getting off at that corner for most mornings for almost a year, and she still asks me if I'm a tourist and would I like to take a tour.

In the evening, I'm standing at the DASH stop when another employee comes out. I tell her about my DASH disaster Friday night. We decide not to waste time waiting and start walking down to Western together, on the lookout for the bus. Once bitten, twice shy. We get to Van Ness and see an eastbound 10 coming, so we cross. At the crosswalk with the light.

Now, I've seen more than one idiot jaywalk in front of a city bus. I've come up with my own variation of Rock Paper Scissors. I call it Bus Car Person. Only rule: Bus Always Wins. Plus, if you get hit by a bus when you're running across the street to catch your bus, you're probably going to miss your bus. And probably many, many buses after that, unless you're referring to the slang term for an ambulance.

The 10 is really, really crowded, so we're forced to stand near the front and still have to fight our way out to get off at Western. We don't have to wait too long for the 207. We talk about the, um, excitement of being a bus-rider, and I mention that I'm blogging my experiences this month. She asks if she can read it, so I give her the URL. So, if you're reading this, hi, Shirley!

She gets on the Red Line at Western and I wait for the 780. I think the rest of the evening must have been uneventful, because I can't remember a thing and had forgotten my notebook at home.

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