Round and Round

This is a Seattle bus.

This is a Seattle bus not to ride - the Express Bus.

Okay, I should rephrase that; the bus above is the bus I (Heather) should not ride. Express seems great - fast, convenient, & whatnot. However, when I was on this bus, I saw my stop fly past as we headed over the Ballard Bridge. Then I had to call up my hero, Josh, to pick me up. Luckily, the first stop is just over the bridge near Trader Joes (oh darn) and just a few minutes from our home. Let's just hope it doesn't happen again when Josh isn't around. Imagine poor me walking in the rain over a bridge in the cold, dark evening. Pathetic image right!?!

Not that I'm proud to admit this, but the express bus experience has happened twice. Yes, twice. I know one should learn after the first time, but I guess I'm a slow learner. It was after the second time that I realized the express bus actually has a little green sign on the front that reads, "express." Doh!

Anyway, now that my mistakes are out of the way, let's talk some more about buses. Orca, the Seattle public transportation system, has been an interesting experience thus far. It's convenient enough, yes, but interesting (fyi - interesting is my favorite descriptor word for the bus). The bus is necessary here in the city. It's just the way people get around town. It's just too hard to find parking and too expensive to park once you find a spot. In fact, it seems most people take the bus. All sorts of folks take the bus including some curious characters.

Some experiences:

  • Minding my own business, leaning on a light post for my bus, when some homeless guy bumps into me as he was falling down. I yelped in surprise and stood there clueless for a few seconds while nearby bus waiters rushed to the guy. One lady was a hospital worker of some sort and took charge, but the homeless guy's friend lifted him and he yelled about wanting to get on the bus. So off on the bus he went. The people around were nice though - one made sure the bus driver knew and the hospital gal called (the police?) to make sure they knew what was going on...

  • I was standing once again at the busy stop home when I struck up a conversation with a gal next to me. She was super nice and we talked for about 10 minutes waiting for our bus. She used to work for Starbucks and is in the process of starting her own business. Nice people at the bus station.

  • On the bus last week, I was sitting in the back playing on my iPhone (like most bus-riders do), when the lady next to me asked, "is that a phone?" I look at her and reply, "uhh, yea." She continues, "oh, could I borrow it to make a call?" Me, "uhhhhh, ummm, ohhhh, hmmm (looking around at other passengers, accessing the situation - people know she's doing this, there are others on the bus so it wouldn't be an easy steal, she looks harmless). I don't know." She says, "I need to call 911." And I'm like, "oh my gosh, are you okay?" Lady says, "yes, I just need to make a non-emergency call to the police." "Oh, well, hmmm (thinking to self: why 911 then?), I guess." So I hand over the phone. She didn't know how to use it so I set it up for her. I listen to her conversation - I mean it's my phone and I'm sitting next to her, it's kind of difficult not to eavesdrop - and apparently some homeless lady was screaming obscenities at passerby's on the hill near her house. Geeez. I got my phone back and got to hear the rest of the ride about this homeless lady (who apparently had fine, flowing, blond hair).

  • The bus driver had to kick off a homeless guy once we went out of the free-zone. I think being a bus driver is hard work having to deal with some of these people. I have big respect for the bus driver since it's strange people they deal with daily. Strange.

I'm sure there are plenty more of these stories to come. In fact, there are more little things I'm sure I could include, but thought this would do for now. I'm curious as to how this bus thing will go in rainy weather too. And don't freak out for me, there aren't that many homeless people on the bus, mostly just business people going to work downtown or tourists. Just the occasional, interesting homeless person (or I assume homeless).

Lucky for me, it's straight forward one bus to my store. The bus stop near my home, is just down some steep stairs, and the stop near work is just 3 blocks away at 3rd and Pine (fyi - my store is on 5th and Pine). It is a bit more pricey than I though, but again better than driving. All and all, it's a learning experience for me!

Now go ahead and sing...the wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round, round and round. The wheels on the bus go round and round, all day long.