December 06, 2009

Adventures in Public Transportation

When I'm longing for personal proximity, one thing I do is hop on the city bus around rush hour and it's nice just to have a bunch of warm bodies near. Here are some of my observations from the past week:

11/10 12:54 PM
A sweet immigrant family from Burma or perhaps Nepal with an adorable bay girl sits next to me in the back of the bus, the best set in the house, in my opinion, with ample leg room and easy to enter/exit seats. The parents were both wearing super stylish Ghetto Nike Air shoes, the kind you might find the hip hop high school crowd sporting. The baby girl and her father are making faces at each other and enjoying themselves. The men from this area of the world age particularly well and, although he is most probably in his thirties, he looks not even nineteen. Both the baby girl and her father smile at me.
I love the innocence of it. They are fashion oblivious. I find that charming and can relate. It's nice they don't know yet that public transportation is a mecca for misfits and madmen and continue to smile and communicate non-verbally to me

6:49 PM
A possibly homeless older gentleman gets on and sits next to me. He has a case of Red Bull energy drinks for sale. 2 for $1. Any normal person would hesitate to ask where he got this case from. After saying "no thank you" I change my mind and purchase two; one for me and one for a random guy who I've seen on the bus earlier in the week who happened to be traveling and, for some reason, came upon $100 worth of international notes that he needed to trade in.
There are some very interesting characters on this bus. Everyone has a back story. Everyone is trying to go somewhere. This bus is packed full like a can of sardines. Please, by the grace of God, no one cut a fart. Still, today, I prefer this and find it more enjoyable than riding alone.

6:53 PM
When you're wealthy and act abnormal, people compliment, "Ah, he's so eccentric." When you ride the city bus and talk to yourself, you're just plain crazy. The homeless have homeless lingo. No where else would you overhear a conversation along the lines of, "Where are you staying tonight?" "What did you score for dinner?" I find it endearing that the homeless form instant bonds through their common everyday struggles.

11/11 6:24 PM At McDonald's
So cute. A whole family of 6 immigrant girls with their aunt or possibly their mother. They range in age from 3 all the way to 10. The youngest braves a game of peek-a-boo with me. Cute little hands and adoring spanish eyes that remind me of the U2 song, "In a little while". My guess is that they're not used to seeing Asian people.They remind me of fond snowy days in Dallas when my parents would save up all month and take the whole family out to Mickey D's. My mother (bless her heart) made all of our meals at home, so it was a huge ordeal to go out for a Big Mac. We would get dressed in our Sunday best and were the image of success. Back in Viet Nam, a meal at McDonald's is indication that you have "made it" in America.

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