Friday, February 10, 2012

And It's Only The Bus

It's funny how our environment can shape us, affect our comfort level, expectations and sense of identity.

I started taking the bus when I began my current employment downtown fourteen years ago. I remember my first morning at the Hastings Park and Ride. I was wondering whether I should take the #23 or the #25. I was interested in the one that got there the quickest and it was pretty much a draw between the two. So I asked a woman who was waiting there. She looked me over and said, "You should take the number 23. We have a more professional clientele on that bus."

Well, then.

STA has tweaked the routes over the years and now we have the 124 express going to and from Hastings and downtown. Most riders are what could be described as a professional clientele. Rare is the screaming child, the attention attracting group of teens, or persons yelling into their cell phone, "I'm on the bus now! I'll be there in a bit. We're passing by...(looks around)...Jack in the Box. No, the bus! I said I'm on the bus." At the time I catch the 124 it's usually full of people in business clothes maybe in quiet conversation with a fellow rider, playing a game on their smartphone, listening to music, or reading.

I got off work late last night and wlked to the bus stop on Lincoln by Spokane Falls Boulevard. I was reading during my wait and only paid half attention when the bus pulled up. I swiped my bus pass and the machine beeped in approval. I looked for an open seat and took notice of the people and thought, "Wow, there sure is a rougher looking group on the later 124." I sat down and switched between reading and solving Sudoku puzzles during the trip going north on Monroe. The guy next to me talked on his cell phone. "Yeah, I'm on the bus. I'll be there in twenty minutes. (listens) No, I'm on the bus. (listens) Yeah, I have to get there first and I can't until I get off the bus, okay?" And then we got to Francis--and turned left.

Well, no wonder things were different. I was on the 24, not the 124.

I caught the 24 leaving Five Mile, jumped off at Francis and Monroe where I caught the 124, which I should have been on in the first place.

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