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Friday, May 16, 2014

Braving the Bus Transfer

I was very daring today. I took two buses to get home instead of getting off at the transfer station then walking the mile from there to the house. Because I was so brave, I only had to walk three blocks instead of the mile, not that a mile walk is a horrible thing. It's not. In fact, I enjoy the walk very much. Yesterday, I got off at the transfer station, went to the used book store and bought two books, then went to a diner and had a burger while I read one of my new books. The walk home not only helped my digestive system, but it also gave me the opportunity to find a treasure on the curb. I lugged said treasure home and will make something for the living room out of it.

But I digress. Back to taking not one but TWO buses to get home.

From work to home, by bike, it's three miles, and I usually ride the three miles in 15 minutes. Half of the ride is trail, so I don't have to deal with traffic, and the other half is mostly residential streets with low traffic. The ride is almost always very pleasant. Unfortunately, the weather this week decided to do a U-turn and head back into winter time. Rainy. Cold. Windy. Cold. Just not pleasant to ride in to say the least.

So in the mornings, Hubby has been dropping me off as he heads to work, and I've been taking the bus home. Most often, the bus ride from work to the transfer station is 20 minutes. The walk home from the transfer station is another 20 minutes. The time doesn't really concern me, but I figured I could shave some minutes off if I transfer from bus one, the Green A,  to but two, the Lime I, and let bus two deposit me just three blocks away. Today, to see how much time I could save by not walking the mile home, I put my plan in motion.

The driver of the Green A today was a regular race car driver wannabe. While some of the drivers will wait a minute or two at the bus stop at work, this guy barely slowed down to let us all on. He began pulling away before two riders were even off the bus. They had to yell at him to stop and let them off. Then, at every stop along the way, he waited until the last minute to apply the brakes. I was trying to read some Hemingway, but all the swaying made keeping track of where I was impossible. I finally slipped the book into my bag and just looked out the window. When we arrived at the transfer station, bus two, the Lime I,  hadn't pulled in yet since Race Car Wannabe Green A driver was early. I checked my phone. Fifteen minutes from work to the transfer station.

A few minutes later, the Lime I pulled in. I climbed aboard, flashing my ID that allows me to ride free. Yeah. Gotta love free. And no sooner had I sat down than we were off. At the transfer station exit, I suddenly panicked, thinking, am I on the right bus? Please turn left. Please turn left. Whew. The bus turned left, taking me in the direction of my house. As we passed the McDonalds, the student apartments, and neared where I thought the bus was supposed to stop, another panic attack hit. Is he going to stop? Is he going to open the door? As the bus neared the four-way stop, and the children from the nearby elementary school were waved across by the crossing guard, I reached up and pulled the Stop Requested cable. The driver stopped and opened the door. With relief, I walked up the aisle and stepped off, saying thank you to the driver who told me to have a wonderful day.

The three blocks to home were easy peazy. I noticed the lilacs were done blooming, someone had put an old kitchen chair at the corner of Streets A and B, in the grass and dandelions that were nearly as tall as the seat of the chair (someone definitely needs to mow!), and strips of white paint had been painted at the end of the sidewalk, most likely marking sidewalks that need to be changed to accommodate individuals in wheelchairs. When I walked into the house, I glanced at the clock above the sink. From the transfer station to home: ten minutes. Overall time from work to home: 25 minutes.

Now that I have mastered taking two buses to get home, I'm stoked to try taking other buses around the city. I figure even if I do mess up and take the wrong bus, all I have to do is get off and try another, then maybe another, until I end up back where I started. Or, at the very least, just begin walking. I know my way home.

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