Monday, September 22, 2008

The 70 Bus

On Thursday and Friday I had attended a conference at the DC Convention Center.  I decided not to drive since I have been paying a DC Workers salary lately with my parking tickets.  So, my choices were: train or bus.  For the train I had to walk 12 minutes (not far) to the train, take a 20 minute train ride, then walk about 5-10 more minutes to the convention center.  For the bus I had to walk around the corner (3-5 min.) then take a 20-30 minute bus ride.  Seems pretty simple, the bus right?  Buttttttt....taking the bus in DC is an adventure.  There is such a stigma attached to riding the bus in DC and most "professionals" in the city just don't do it unless it is for transfer downtown, most "professionals" prefer the train.  Truth be told, I haven't been on the bus for 10 years at least, but I decided to throw caution to the wind and take the bus.  BTW, when I told friends I was taking the bus they all said "WHY?" 

Here I was at the bus stop, with a few interesting characters, and I didn't even know how much the bus was.  I had to take out my PDA and look it up.  It was $1.35 each, I got this (so, I thought).  Once I got on the bus I thought I would read my latest book.  Not so much.   I sat in the very front (this seemed to be safest for someone who hasn't taken a bus in a decade) with a few other colorful characters.  Right next to me was a man that had alcohol for breakfast and a few seats down was a woman who forgot to take her medication for breakfast.  She commented about everyone on the bus.  As Latinos got on/off the bus she yelled "Hola" and 'Adios" (not in a friendly way).  She asked a nice young woman who appeared to be from Nigeria if she lived in a shelter (what???).  She asked an Ethiopian woman if she was from Pakistan or Ethiopia?  HUH???  I laughed out loud on this one.  She then asked if they were (Pakistan and Ethiopia) close together, the woman of course said no.  She then had a very loud and disturbing conversation with another man about something, but I can't really remember what.  Whew...that was a long 25 minutes but when it was over I felt like, I have to do this again, this was fun.  I caught the bus home and the next day, more of the same.  Although on my return trip the next day I had words with a different crazy lady.  

I was on the phone with my mother (again in the front seats) and a pregnant woman, who happened to be Ethiopian, got on the bus.  We said Selam and I proceeded to get out of my seat for her to sit down (she was pregnant for goodness sakes).  Instead of letting her sit down a woman decided she was going to jump in my seat...she knew I wasn't getting up for her.  I turned around and told her I wasn't getting up for her, I was getting up for the other woman to sit down.  She told me SO.  I said okay GET UP!  She said the seat was for elderly and priority, I told her the woman was pregnant (the woman was about 50, not old, just mean), she said SO.  I was heated.  Of course the woman looked like it's okay, it's okay.  Meanwhile my mother is on the phone saying Tami be nice, she knows I am on an "interesting" bus.  I told the woman she was just rude and inconsiderate.  She proceeded to tell me she didn't care and then started calling me fancy pants (I had on my suit and did look very nice! LOL...hater!)  Finally, a nice young lady next to the crazy lady got up for the woman to sit down.  My job was done and I moved to the back.  

I can see why people don't take the bus but it is less expensive and less walking for me depending on where I have to go.  I'm a big gurlcan handle myself and the haters but whew...that was an experience.  I hope I don't have to do that too often!  Maybe I'll walk the extra 17 minutes next time.  :-)  


kristine said...

You're reminding me of riding the train in Brooklyn. Everyday another story. Good for you saving some money. Every little bit counts!

VALARIE said...

Tami, I have not laughed this hard in a loooong time. I laughed until I coughed and tears came running down my face. It is good for us to take the scenic route sometimes. Life is too boring otherwise. Thanks for the funny story Fancy Pants. LOL!

haze said...

Some people are so frickin' rude!! When I used to ride the bus to work downtown (many years ago), I was amazed that men and school kids wouldn't get up for pregnant women or seniors. I did it myself and I hope I shamed some people into thinking twice about their lack of manners (but I'm afraid I didn't).

Good on ya, 'fancy pants.' :-)

Barbara said...

LOL. Thanks for the visual.

Tami said...

Valerie the funnier part is at one point there was so much noise on the bus my mother said what is that? I said I don't know some ghetto people at the back of the bus. She was on the phone like Tami that was very loud please be quiet and be nice on THAT bus. LOL

Los Cazadores said...

LOL!!! That cracked me up!