A World on Wheels

April 24, 2009
By Eli Blankers BRONZE, Bellingham, Washington
Eli Blankers BRONZE, Bellingham, Washington
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Throughout our lives, we venture from place to place, searching for where we belong. Some settle in the big city, others seek adventures in the dangerous unknown. Sometimes we venture into worlds we would never otherwise encounter. Me, I travel the county on a bus, a microcosm of a world headed no place in particular.
Rebellion is shown in public transit, just as the world as a whole. One man, outraged by the smoking ban, decided to make his point by choosing not to ride—a moral victory, at best. Senior Citizens of Dutch heritage will fight a verbal battle with the driver, insisting they are over 60 years old, and eligible for that envied 25 cent discount.
Similar to the world as a whole, the bus has its share of diversity. The passengers on the bus can be categorized into two different groups. The first group is the people who don’t ride the bus often. In the midst of the confusing bus routes, schedules, and transfers, many get lost in the maze that is public transit. Then there are the people who are obviously veterans. These masters of mazes enter the bus with exact change, or sometimes even with the luxury of a bus-pass and seem to know exactly which seat they belong in.
How about environmental politics? Ask a driver what it’s like working for public transportation, and he will tell you, “I’m proud to be a part of eco-friendly transit.” Pressed harder, he will share victories of mass transit concerning a guy traveling to Seattle, a 2 hour car-trip, for only $5. “It only took him eight hours, but if you have more time than money than it’s a good idea to ride the bus.” In fact, one man – apparently with more time than money – exhibits this environmental zeal as he peeks into his organic grocery bag to talk to his empty cans about the ride.
The world certainly has many unique and interesting people, and so does the bus. As a middle-aged woman sat on a young man’s lap, wearing skanky clothing, one could only guess that either she was an authentic hooker or she had just left Abercrombie & Fitch after a drunken shopping spree. Another oddity on the bus was a man caught up intensely on his hand-held video game. It’s reasonable to assume he was a skilled and experienced DS player by the way he violently smacked the stylus against its battered and broken screen.
Some people are uncomfortable about riding the bus. Maybe it’s the strange people, or the lack of control. Maybe it’s the confusion of the bus schedule. However, how can we find our place in the world if we aren’t even willing to find our seat on the bus?

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