Thursday, January 18, 2007

magic bus...

i've been taking the bus to/from work a lot lately. and i'm totally into it. i know i complained about it earlier, but i've totally gotten my bus groove back.

people who know me now, think of me as a driver. i'm always driving somewhere. but what most of them don't know is that i was not always a driver. i spent most of my life as a non-driver. i walked, took the bus, or bummed rides off people for most of my life. including a good portion of my adult years. as a kid, who needed to go far? as a young teenager, well, i lived within walking distance of a mall with a cinema. and once i got seriously into my teens, i only really cared about going one place. downtown vancouver. and i lived on a major route into downtown. every 15 minutes (1/2 hour at night) i could catch a bus and be downtown within 45 minutes. and that's what we did every saturday morning, it seemed. plus my dad was always going downtown or somewhere, he drove a van, and i would fill it with all my friends.

as i got older, i got a job downtown. i partied downtown. and again, a car was unnecessary. i could catch a late bus every hour until 3 or 4 in the morning and walk home from the last stop. plus as an added bonus, one of my friends who lived near me had a car. so until we had a major falling out, i got a lot of rides from her.

the reason i finally got my license was i got a job where i needed to have a car. and i discovered the joys of driving. the freedom to go wherever, whenever. i was lucky. i learnt to drive in winter, during a year where we had a lot of snow, and tons of rain. and i had to drive downtown every day. i consider this lucky as because of this, none of these conditions bother me to drive. and i know how to drive in them. i drove every day for about a year and a half, got a new job and become a bus person again. eventually i moved downtown, and discovered the joys of being a pedestrian.

thru a serious of events, i ended up back in the 'burbs and working way out in the 'burbs for the first time. suddenly, i had to drive to work. the bus schedule and routes were not so kind going anywhere other than downtown vancouver. and although i gained much time driving, i think i lost just as much. i didn't read as much. i missed my morning nap. and i missed the feeling of starting and ending the work day just kicking back and relaxing.

i did take the bus occasionally. and it felt weird. i couldn't read without feeling ill. i felt anxious. and i never had tunes, so the quietness would bug me. and i felt crowded and cramped with all the people.

but i've taken the bus a lot recently. at first, i couldn't deal with it. but after a few days, i adjusted. and started to enjoy it. i like walking to my bus stop every morning. i had forgotten what it's like to walk somewhere by myself. without my dog. setting my own pace. i have my mp3 player so i can choose when i want quiet. i relearnt how to read on the bus. i like being able to gaze out and look at things. and i'm enjoying the drama of the people.

today's morning excitment was the guy getting busted for fare fraud on the skytrain. evening drama, was our bus driver lecturing us on when we are supposed to ring the bell. i love these little things that happen. and i would have missed it all, if i had drove.

{ps.. but there is no way i'm giving up my car.... :) }


Evelyne said...

"evening drama, was our bus driver lecturing us on when we are supposed to ring the bell" : that might have been interesting.

I like to take the bus (or the subway, it's better during the winter but I like to see the city and the bus is the only way to do it). You are so right about all the things we can do on the bus : read! When I was in cegep, my parents let me use their car to go to schoool, driving was such a waste of my time! Now, I love my morning nap or to read. But, I miss having a car, going where you want when you want (the bus doesn't bring you exactly where you want)

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I wish Calgary were a little more transit-friendly. I guess it is in some areas, but not where we live. But the train or the bus , especially if you see the same faces, can be quite comforting.

And obviously there's no shortage of drama!

mellowlee said...

For all the bitching I do about my morning commute to Kerisdale, we do have a pretty good system here!

I wouldn't give up my car if I had one either!

Toccata said...

I sold my car before coming here because I was told parking was horrendous and you often have to rent your parking spot wherever you live. I walk and bike everywhere. I'm not an athletic team sport kind of person but I absolutely love to walk and bike.

668 aka neighbour of the beast said...

evelyne - i know what you mean about the subway. i lived in london, england for awhile and i never understood the city when i took the tube. once i took the bus, i finally grasped the layout of the city.

barbara - i like how the rapid transit is free downtown. i love places that do that. i also like how you can take your dog on transit, as long as you buy a ticket. or so i have been told.

mellowlee - i think our transit is ok for certain things, but sucks for other. and for awhile the hours were crap!

toccata - i never know that about victoria.