I’ve always tried my hardest to leave for work early to avoid the rush hour and most of the time able to, but during that 30-45 minutes bus ride is where all the action happens. I can call it a victory if I get to work unscathed, take note, the actual challenge is not to be late but if you actually get to work scratch free.
The waiting is the easiest part because what comes next actually boils down to one’s choices; Should I play a role in Forrest Gump or a role in 300 AD? I always fall short on the Forrest Gump approach, I guess my dire need for some avoidable action gets me in trouble.
I start bracing myself by hugging my bag in front of me, as all others do. Gone were the days when backpacks are actually worn at the back. I’ve made peace of the fact that there’s nothing I can do to protect my back, again the 300 AD is my calling.
As much as I respect everyone’s personal space, I’ve learned that in using public transportation, (we are still talking about the 300AD approach here) not putting yourself in action can get you nowhere, you can not ride a bus if you don’t do anything. So I enjoy the ride (while you scream Spartan!! inside your head) of just getting pushed by a throng of people who also chose the Spartan approach (who may well be screaming Spartan inside their heads, we don’t know).
I go with the flow, one minute I’m getting shoved the next, I’m on the bus looking for a vacant seat (if there’s any) right next to a decent looking person. I am not judging but have you been reading those scary post by women having to seat next to perverts? I am just being cautious thus landing me on my next ordeal. I have always loved the window seat, but so does everyone else, it lessens the boredom especially during traffic, you get to see the equally stagnant vehicles right beside yours. The bored, angry faces of the people inside as they curse their frustrations away. Downside? It’s a freaking obstacle course when you’re about to alight and the people beside you aren’t.
Having to seat in the middle in the 3-seater can be tricky because you’re forced to shrink your un-shrinkable self having been sandwich by the people sitting on both your sides who sometimes end up using you as a pillow but hey, at least your whole tush gets to sit, you’re not slumped against the hard window and you don’t get beaten up.
Here’s where I usually subject myself to, the aisle seat. The aisle seat and I have this love-hate relationship. My heart jumps for both joy and dread whenever I see one, especially if it’s near the door. Just what Lady Gaga said, “You and me can have a bad romance”.
I beeline for aisle seats because I feel that’s where I can fit, that’s the love, then comes the hate part, I have been elbowed, smacked and bagged way too many times just by sitting there. The numerous times I took bus to work there’s always one person who is sure to hit my head with their bag, once, twice or if I’m lucky dozen times depending on how dependable the bus’ break fluid is (which is good! Working break fluid is a must!). I always bow my head though, because the target is a choice between my head or my face. Let’s just say, i’m protecting what little I have. I’ve also seen numerous type of belly’s thanks to those men and women who patronize crop tops. The hairy ones, the smooth ones and the simply big ones. I don’t like the crotch tho, unfortunately, it happens and well, skinny jeans are also a fad for men. My shoulders has enough stories to last me a lifetime. I’ll leave it at that.
After getting hit comes, as I’ve said, the obstacle course. How do you get through the “everyone” (people) and the “everything” (the bag, the box, the luggage, the shovels, take your pick)? Here’s the part where you transform your body into different shapes while saying “Excuse Me” and still propel yourself out regardless if they allow you to pass through or not. Well it’s not like you or they have a choice. In life there’s a lot of “l can’t” but in commuting, there will always be an “I can! and I will!” or you’ll miss your stop.
(Sadly, it happened to me)
That last step off the bus with the wind and semi polluted morning air brushing your face is always glorious. You’ve survive your 1st challenge of the day. Celebrate. ( Watch out for those passing vehicles before you cross the street or else there won’t be any celebrations for you, it’s another story for people who hate you tho)
The little kid who plays peek a boo with you. The flashy statement shirt that the girl standing beside you is wearing, the woman who comfortably placed her bag unknowingly on top of your head, the man who’s dozing off with his mouth open or lovers who hold hands during the entire ride that they forget to scoot over to give space for the person who will sit with them. These are merely mundane things that we barely notice in our everyday hustle and though taking the public transportation is, at most times, annoying, stressful and tiring, I guess the best part is still being able to do it. It’s a simple reminder that you are alive, you are well, you are able and you can.