Tuesday, December 11, 2012


Snowflakes are beautiful. I love to be sitting in a warm home watching them fall from the sky. They cover up the ugliness of the earth below. I despise being away from my abode and having to trek in their wake. I’ve been in winter auto accidents and my anxiety level raises whenever I consider traveling on treacherous roads.

Snow deluged the Twin Cities during this past weekend. I spent early Sunday afternoon using my wimpy snow-thrower to push off about eight inches of accumulation. It was exhausting and then frustrating when four more inches fell after I completed my task. I began to fear the commute. Late Sunday afternoon I logged online and went to the Metro Transit website to determine the best route. While in college I rode the bus exclusively and mostly enjoyed the commute. I didn’t purchase an auto until I was out of grad school.

Monday morning I decided to take the bus to work after clearing off the sidewalk since there are many pedestrians in my neighborhood. I gathered my bus-fare of $2.25 in quarters and waited at the corner. I lingered and hung around as my feet became cold. I figured the bus would be late but didn’t think it would be so terribly delayed. Finally, it arrived.

Riding the bus can be enjoyable. If you seek passage on a regular basis, you get to know your neighbors while waiting for the huge vehicle and meet people who ride on the same schedule. It can be a very jovial experience. I was surprised that the atmosphere has changed. The people on my bus were not friendly. They pulled out their smart-phones or stared into space with their headsets humming into their ears. Naively, I got off at the stop the online scheduler suggested to transfer and loitered as the crowds rushed by. Eventually, the bus appeared and ferried me to my destination. I was an hour late for work, but my boss wasn’t upset.

After completing a day of labor, I had to reverse my trip. I had logged online again and learned some alternative routes. The MTC website should show an array of options from starting point to destination all on one page. I decided that I only wanted to relocate once. The more transfers, the higher the chance that there will be a delay. I caught a bus and went to a busy bus-stop in downtown Minneapolis. I felt envious of the people with a smart-phone application that could tell them about the whereabouts of their bus using GPS. I had to keep glancing down the street hoping to see my mode of transport approaching. The bus-stop should have a ticker tape stating when the busses are coming in, just like an airport.

I didn’t have to dally for too long and the second leg of my route went well until we got stuck. Actually, a vehicle in front of the bus became wedged in the snow-ice and we couldn’t move. It was too far for me to walk home. The bus driver never got on the speaker to tell us what was going on. He spoke with the people in the front rows but I couldn’t hear him. I eventually got off and strode to another bus-stop to catch a different bus. I still had to trudge three blocks to get home in the cold. It had taken me two hours from leaving work to getting to my house. I was chilly, tired, hungry, and crabby. What a wretched re-introduction to public transport. I will ride again, but I just hope it won’t be such grueling experience.

Ride da bus!
© 2012 Ima B. Musing

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