Support & Appreciation

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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Riding the Wave....

I apologize ahead of time for the bad spacing in between the pictures and paragraphs - for some reason blogger doesn't allow you to put stuff where you want it!!

I've always loved photography. Viewing the world through a lens, seeing life in pictures. When I was younger I'd carry my little 35mm camera with me and just snap random pictures of random people and places. I have a great picture of an elderly black man weed eating the sidewalk, a neat picture of a group of workers striking outside the building where they work with signs.. a cow in a field near the construction office where my mom used to work..

It's a hobby/passion that I've never really pursued seriously but also never really stopped enjoying. I said all that to say this.. I've realized during my journey on the public transit system that there are some phenomenal pictures to be taken. And my camera phone just isn't cutting it!

I did take some pictures today though, on my ride home from work and I'm going to share them with you.. and the stories behind them...

Here is the stop where I caught the bus for my trip home from work. The bus makes it to this stop at about 5:25pm. I get off work at 5:00pm. There is no bench at this stop, it's on a relatively busy road - 2 lanes each way. And it was, again, COLD. Not as bad as yesterday, but still cooler than comfortable for a half hour wait outside! The way the cars look in the picture.. that's pretty much how they looked to me. When it starts getting dark out and you're facing traffic, the lights on the cars give everything a blurry appearance. Just blur and lights and more blur.

Here's where I stood for most of the wait. I stood on the grass for a while but it was really thick and really soft. My shoes kept sinking. So I stood on a concrete slab over a drain on the side of the street. It's really hmm I guess a combination of peculiar and thought provoking, waiting on the side of the road for a bus. People in the cars driving by seem to really only have 3 ways of reacting. They either stare at you as they zoom by. Probably wondering why in the world is that girl standing on the side of the street? Why doesn't she have a car? Doesn't she know anyone who could give her a ride? Or they glance at you and quickly turn their head, pretending they didn't see you standing there on the corner, all bundled up with your head tucked into the neck of your jacket shivering. A young girl in a van that stopped at the red light on the corner where I waited took this approach. She looked at me, I smiled, then she looked away and made an obvious effort not to turn her head back toward the window. I took a picture of her but it didn't come out very well. Then there is the last reaction. They just zoom by and never even notice that you're there. I can't count the number of people I saw eating, drinking, chatting on the phone, reading!.. completely oblivious to the world around them.

Here is the mother and her two little girls I mentioned in my last blog. I think they missed the earlier bus they usually catch right after school and had to wait for the next one. This was at 5:45pm. Every day she boards with her little angels and they entertain themselves for the 20-30 minute ride. This evening they started out singing their ABC's.. that lasted for about 10 minutes. Then the little one on the left entertained herself for about 10 minutes folding her pink toboggan in half over and over again, then unfolding and folding all over. The older one had a fantastically entertaining and in depth imaginary phone conversation with Barbie. Her hand was the phone and she chatted away - playing both sides of the conversation - for a good 15 minutes. When her little sister realized that she wasn't being paid attention to she began to mimic her and had her own little phone conversation. She had butterflies on the bottom of her shoes. You can tell she adores her big sister and wants to do everything just like her. Their mom.. some of the older ladies on the bus this morning were gossiping about her after she got off the bus. The older of the two girls took off to cross the street as soon as they disembarked and her mom grabbed her arm just in time to stop her running right in front of a car. The ladies on the bus commented "She need to stop chatting up the driver and watch those babies! - that one.. she run right off every time. She ask that other driver will he wait on her in the afternoon - ask him to wait on her." They sounded very ehh well judgmental and unimpressed with the pretty young lady and her requests for it seemed to them special treatment. I did notice the morning bus driver makes a point to chat with her and the girls for a few minutes every morning when they get on.

Here's some of what the inside of the bus looks like -

It seems that there are 2 or 3 different bus models, and they all have different seating arrangements. My evening bus has two seats right when you get on the bus to the left that are raised up off the floor about a foot and a half. Then there are a row of 4 seats on each side of the bus. This picture shows the upper seats in the back of the bus. They're two steps up off the main level. I've sat in the upper seat in the front and the seats on the rights side of the bus for all of my trips so far. I don't think I'll go to the back. I like to see where I'm going to make sure I don't miss my stop!

Here are some of my fellow journeymen and women -

The older gentleman in the middle apparently has a crush on the lady in the blue sitting in front of him. The guy in the hard hat - he was sitting two seats from me - was sitting where the guy in the brown jacket was sitting, but when he saw the older gentleman at the upcoming stop he moved - and commented laughingly "I'd better give ol boy his seat - you know how he likes to sit next his buddy!"

Mr. Hard Hat putting his bicycle on the front of the bus.. He was on the first route I took this morning too. Before my public transit adventure is over I may ask him his name and see if he'll share some of this story - but for now I'm content to just watch and imagine - plus I'm chicken! lol I can admit it =)

This guy got on close to the end of my route - for some reason I guess he felt like he'd better fix his do.. which I found funny because other than a ring of longer white hair around the bottom of his head he was completely bald?? See the lady sitting in the upper seat behind him? She nodded off as soon as she got on the bus.. and stayed asleep through the entire route! That is absolutely amazing to me because these drivers drive like bats outta hell. More than once I was certain I would be catapulted out of my seat onto the floor! See she's still sleeping~>

These two got on at the mall with me.. that's my hand in the first picture holding on for dear life.. sure I'd be thrown from my seat at the next curve in the road! They only lasted a few minutes into the ride before nodding off. The briefcase & the arm on the far right of the picture belong to

This guy -
He got on, set his briefcase and bag down then went back to the front of the bus to pay his fare - (OH I realize I haven't mentioned the fare!! It's $1.25 per ride - and a 10¢ connection fee - so I pay $1.35 for my ride to work and $1.35 for my ride home each day. Not bad huh!) Then he sat down and chatted with the bus driver about video games - I don't remember which one he was talking about but I do remember hearing him say it cost $399.00!! Then he lamented about how he can't ever figure out his woman - she gets mad when he plays the video game - complaining that he doesn't pay attention to her, but then when he does pay attention she isn't happy.. here's him shaking his head about the whole subject ~~>

Here's the bus stop at the mall - this is the connecting stop for all the buses... and the nifty little digital sign that tells you when what bus will arrive next - the last picture is my connecting bus to get home. I guess he put the sign on NOT IN SERVICE during the break between his routes so no one would get on the bus while he wasn't on it and not pay - He forgot he'd changed the sign too - someone asked him which bus his was and he said - "Doesn't it say Dauphin on the front?!" - "No sir, it doesn't"

So that was my journey today - well the half that took me back home anyway - I hope you enjoyed the ride and again I really do recommend that everyone try out their local public transit system at least one time - if for no other reason than to say you did it! lol But I'm pretty sure you'll get much more out of the ride!!!



- postscript-
I always wondered what Namasté meant so I did some looking - taken literally it means "I bow to you" - Deepak Chopra gives it a less literal and I think more enjoyable and acceptable meaning - "I honor the Spirit in you which is also in me." Just some fun facts!

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