no car. too far to walk. how do i get to work? the city bus, of course! My son, the guy with “city bus street smarts”, does it all of the time. He assured me he could get me to work without any hitches. First, though, this 45 year-old adventurer would have to have some instructions. After all, i’ve ridden the bus in Tver,Russia and the subways in Moscow and Toronto, how hard can riding the bus in our city fo 350,000 be? Following is the conversation that my family had last night to prepare me for my treck…….
My Son: “Are you ready for me to show you the route?”
Me: “yup. let me grab Dad’s iphone.”
Son: “so you start by catching the bus at our corner. you know where that stop is?”
Me: “yup. I know where it is.”
Son: “It comes at 8:00. It’s the # 31. It turns into the #32 at the university.”
Me: “Ok, so i have to get off of it?”
Son: “no. just stay on it.”
Me: ” but why does it change numbers?”
Husband: “It just does. Stay on it.”
Me: “ok. then what?”
Son: “when it gets to Adelaide and Kipps Lane, get off of it and go across the street twice and catch the #16, the Adelaide bus.”
Me: “go across the street twice? but Kipps Lane and Adelaide intersect. why would i go across the street?”
Husband: “Because it lets you off across the street and you have to go back across to catch the other one.”
(CAN YOU TELL THAT I’M A VISUAL LEARNER???????????)
Son: “you’ll see. it’s not hard.”
Me: “Ok. so when do i get my transfer?” (impressed i know that much, aren’t you?)
Son: “when you get on at the first stop, ask for a transfer.”
Me: “Can’t i just tell the driver where i want to get off at?”
Daughter: “You can’t just tell the driver that. what do you think you’re riding the Kindergarden bus?”
(Well, she got me with that one, didn’t she?”)
Me: “Ok. so i ask for a transfer. How do i know when to get off the bus when i’m near work?”
Son: “you wait two stops past Thompson road and then ding the bell. It will stop for you. Get off, J-walk and then you’re at work.”
Me: “two stops after Thompson. got it.”
A few more exchanges were made and we put the whole idea to rest until morning. When my son was going over things with me, again, he added:
Son: “oh, and exit from the back.”
Me: “ok.. exit from the back. I’ve got it.”
Son: “don’t worry, there are probably more things.”
so, i headed out to the bus stop 15 minutes early. i got there in 5 mintues which allowed me time to catch my breath and cool off from the humid morning last night’s rain had left behind.
i caught the first bus, grabbed my transfer, said “Good morning” to the bus driver and sat back and listened to Michael W. Smith on my ipod.
I learned several things this morning. 1. People stare at you when you’re standing at a bus stop. 2. the bus system in our city is pretty good. 3. You CAN exit from the front of the bus if you’re chummy with the driver. 4. not everyone takes a shower in the morning before they head out for their day. 5. Men don’t always give their seat up for a lady. 6. If you smile at someone on the bus, they will smile back. and last but not least 7. My son is one smart cookie and i’m very proud of him! He taught me well.