Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Why I Don't Take the Bus

There are three reasons why I will not ride a city bus. And they are not that 1) I'm a brat, 2) I'm a small town bumpkin, and 3) I'm lazy.  They are:

1)  When I first moved away from home, I went to college at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. It was my first "big city", my first time away from home, my first real life experiences. And I was horrible at it, but that's a whole other thing. After being there a while, my car broke down for seemingly no reason. I had it towed from campus and worked on at a local mechanic. When I needed to pick it up, I didn't have any friends who had cars, so my friend and I decided to take the bus to the mechanic to bring my car back. So we get on the bus for our first time in San Luis Obispo and I'm pretty sure my first time on a city bus ever. We sit down and settle in for our ride across town and quickly realize that we are the only two people on this bus that aren't mentally handicapped. I'm not saying that as a rude adjective for stupid people. We literally were sharing the bus with a giant group of actual mentally handicapped people. Who were yelling and talking really loudly about having sex, and who all seemed to know each other. We were just smack dab in the middle of this really rambunctious, perverted group of people and it was incredibly awkward.

2)  My first day in training as a flight attendant in New Jersey, I hopped on the bus all ready to show up for work, excited, and confident. I was living in my first actual big city, doing my first day of commuting. I put in my money and grabbed a hand hold on the busy bus. At some point, someone got off right next to me and I moved to sit down and ended up bumping a very large African American woman. And she did not appreciate it. No ma'am. She spent the rest of the bus ride yelling, not to me, but to other people, how "this bitch just shoved me." And it was like a 20 minute bus ride or something crazy like that and I just sat there making myself as tiny as I possibly could while this extremely loud woman who probably had about 75 pounds or more on me, called me a bitch to the rest of the bus.

3)  On the way home from training the day of the "this bitch" bus experience, I waited outside the airport and grabbed my bus home. I knew the number I needed, we'll call it bus 395 or whatever, I don't remember. All I know is I need bus 395 to get to and from work. Being the small town bumpkin I am, I don't realize that bus 395 goes in multiple directions. So I grab the first one I see. And I sit on that bus for over an hour as it drives in the wrong direction silently praying that at some point this friggin' thing is going to turn around oh holy shit what did I do. It didn't. Because that's not how buses work, Valerie. So I got off on the last stop in Orange, a town I'd never been to and just started walking while having a panic attack. At some point, I saw a sign for Amtrak and just bee-lined it for the place, running up to the ticket window and breathlessly announcing, "I need to get to Newark!" To which the ticket guy responded, "Why?" (Because Newark is not great, folks) I spent the train ride home texting my friends to warn them why I was late and trying not to burst into tears and further embarrassing myself.

And from that day on, I drove to work.


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