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Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Are you a stripper?

No? Then you probably don't need to wrap your whole body around the pole at the front of the bus so that I am left trying to hang on to those stupid rails above my head for balance. Especially when today's bus driver had clearly never heard of gradual acceleration or taking it easy in the corners. Because what I really wanted was to feel like my shoulder was going to be ripped from its socket just so that you could drape yourself comfortably all over the handrail.

Monday, 14 July 2014

This is why we use our feet to get around campus

Some lady on the 145 this afternoon absolutely lost her sh*t.

There's construction on campus, so buses are detouring from their usual routes. Today, as happens on occasion, the bus skipped all but one campus stop and went straight off the hill to avoid construction delay. Granted, the driver probably should have made an announcement that this was happening, but given that the only woman who seemed to have a problem with it didn't speak a lick of English, I doubt it would have helped.

As soon as we passed the turn that would have kept us on campus, she realized what had happened and she lost it. She ran to the front doors and started screaming at the driver. Of course she was screaming in, let's call it Asian (I don't think it was Chinese, but it could have just been her shrill screaming that made it sound different...doesn't matter...point is it wasn't English) so the driver couldn't talk to her if he wanted to. But her point was clear. She wanted off the bus like the world was ending. She screamed and hit the bus doors. She almost grabbed the driver. She shrieked in what seemed like a desperate plea for help towards the back of the bus. No dice. She was repeatedly informed by the driver that the bus was not stopping. She began to sob like someone had died. She continue to hit the doors and scream through the weeping (I may have a voice recording to add to this post later this is a short snippet of what happened; the dying farm animal sound is the woman crying and this was after she had tired out some). I wish I had taken a video; it was easily in the top 3 most dramatic transit incidents I have witnessed.

About halfway down the hill, some Asian speaking good samaritan went to talk to her, presumably to figure out why the desperation and to explain that the problem could be remedied by another 15 minute bus ride. She seemed slightly less insane for the remainder of the ride, which is good, because even tiny old Asian ladies are scary when they have that much crazy behind them.

A trilogy of non-occurances

It's like the honorable mention of bad transit behavior today; three things that are worth noting but by themselves no longer warrant a whole post (it's amazing what you become accustomed to on transit).

First there was the girl who made the bad miniskirt choice. I got a great picture of it following her into Tim Horton's, but then she held the door open for me, smiled and waited as had to I catch up to her (because I had paused behind her to take said embarrassing photo, the irony is not lost on me). Then I felt bad, so this post will be without photo (see, I do have a soul).

Then a guy got on the skytrain with a bike (pretty sure that's not allowed during rush hour, but it's almost never big deal) ...and a shopping cart. Does skytrain even have rules about shopping carts during rush hour? Other than being a bit strange though, it was basically a non event. He told some guy he needed the space that guy was standing in; so the guy went and took an empty seat. Clearly he was very put out by the whole thing.

Then I got on the bus. Got a seat after waiting one full bus, and then watched from that seat as the bus driver purposefully and repeatedly tried to close the bus doors as another skytrain full of people ran to get on the bus. It happens so often I think it must be in the bus driver handbook somewhere: "Weekly quotas. (a) Cause 4 people to fall over due to your driving. (b) Leave behind at least 2 skytrain loads of people. (c) Leave a stop before 1 person can get off." Of course being the person already on the bus with a seat, it suits me just fine to leave before the bus is crammed full, but I've been on the other side of the doors and it sucks.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Maybe take the elevator next time

This week the escalator at King George station is closed for maintenance, as it is at least once a month. It's a minor inconvenience for most of us; we don't get to the platform as fast; we get stuck behind slow walkers; we have to share the stairs with people walking down. However, for one guy this morning, it seemed like an obstacle course.

He was probably older middle aged and he was walking alright, albeit slow, until halfway up the steps. Then just as some girl went to pass him, he lost his footing and went elbows first onto the landing. I don't think passing girl precipitated the fall, but she did nearly land on top of him when he went down. A few people around him asked the perfunctory "Are you okay?" (which I hate asking, btw, since if they are fine I'm sure they'd just as soon pretend it didn't happen, and if they aren't fine I guess I could call 911 if it's really bad, but that's basically all I'm good for; I couldn't actually help you). He seemed fine. He got up and kept walking, at which point I passed him, because he's slow and I see a train in the station. Then as I leave the stairs and turn to get on the train, out of the corner of my eye I see some type of kerfuffle at the top of the stairs; I look back and notice a few people gathered there and no sign of fallen guy ... because as it turns out, he's fallen again, which I notice because I see him getting up just as the train doors close.

Maybe it's insensitive of me, and maybe I should be more concerned why that man kept falling down, but he seemed like a medical emergency waiting to happen, so frankly, I'm just glad that trainwreck wasn't on my train.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Transit Protip

When riding the bus, I always start by putting my bag on the seat next to me. Then as the bus fills up, I watch for someone who looks relatively sane and like they have good personal hygiene. As they walk towards me, I move my bag, which almost always results in them sitting next to me. There's probably some subtle (or not so subtle) psychology behind this, but all I can say for sure is it usually works.

Of course the success of this plan also hinges on your ability to judge a book by its cover; after so many years of transit riding, it is something I'm quite skilled at already. Now I realize this type of behavior is generally discouraged in polite society, but I'm not picking a new BFF here, just trying not to sit next to a chatty Cathy who smells like a BO soaked ashtray.

(As you may have guessed, this protip is brought to you by a day on which I didn't follow my own advice and spent a bus ride sucking back stale cigarette stench. Yum.)