Personally, I don’t know how many Route 39’s are in North America, but I do know one exists in Calgary. For most of the journey, I just sit back and watch people; we don’t always stop at the same locations – it really depends on the weather and the day and time of the week. Sometimes I will bypass Route 39 and hop on Route 80 just for the heck of it, but even though it’s a longer route, it doesn’t seem nearly as entertaining.
The people I meet along the Route are sometimes talkative, sometimes quiet, or just purely indifferent. Personally it doesn’t matter to me; I’m just along for the 10 minute ride anyway. I used to walk to work, but colder mornings are becoming more and more frequent and because of this I find myself taking shelter on the Route 39 bus on a more regular basis. I may be Canadian and I may love the snow, but if the truth be told, I am a wimp when it comes to cold mornings – there I’ve said it.
For many of us, taking daily transit to and from work is the norm. Due to the rising price of gas, the long commutes, and the crazy parking fees, a $100 monthly bus pass doesn’t seem that bad. That stated, I don’t want to get off topic with the politics of our transit system, that’s not the purpose of this post. The purpose of this post it to focus on the humourous side of taking transit and the numerous people we can meet in a matter of minutes.
Long or short, funny or sad, we all have them – transit stories and each one is as good as the next!
My best Calgary transit story… Approximately 15 years ago I was heading home on the C-train. It was a nice summer day. It must have been midday because the train car was fairly empty, people scattered here and there with the odd couple conversing. I was quietly looking out the window when the train stopped at the next station. Suddenly, I felt someone sit beside me. I remember thinking to myself, “seriously – there are numerous empty seats and you had to sit right beside me!” Like a flash, my hand was abruptly grabbed by this stranger. One thing I do remember was how quiet the train car became, suddenly, no one was talking and all eyes were on me. Before I could even react to this person, he began asking questions left, right, and center…what type of questions you ask? Oh, just simple ones like, “Do you watch Baywatch?” and “Can I be your boyfriend?” Trust me, the questions escalated to the point where I politely (Canadian), asked him to stop because the questions were becoming rather inappropriate. You might be thinking, did anyone come to my aid, no…. but, I do know that I was the afternoon entertainment, no matter how uncomfortable I was becoming. Just as I was about to get off at the next stop – was it my stop – no, but I didn’t care at that point, and then suddenly the stranger jumped up and ran off the train. Just like that…then just like a movie, everyone went back to their routines as if nothing had happened. When I think back to that episode, I chuckle to myself, it ended without circumstance and now I am left with a very interesting transit story!
I must say that my favourite moments are when the seniors get on the bus. I worked in a Long Term Care facility for ten years, so I have a soft spot for seniors, especially ones full of opinions; absolutely love them with all my heart! Shyness is not a word in their vocabulary – especially when they get on the bus. They will start up a conversation with anyone willing to listen. We have a Walmart Greeter on my route, oh, and she’s a firecracker! I almost know more about her than I do my neighbours! She talks about her earlier life when she lived overseas, she talks about her children, and the grandchildren she needs to discipline – why, because parents these days don’t know how to raise children – it’s as simple as that! The best is when they form into a group – one day you should stop and listen to them, because they can still teach you something!
Recently, a teenage boy has started riding my route. He keeps to himself for most of the trip, well, until he gets bored, then he becomes humourous – whether he knows it or not. He likes to sit behind the driver where the seats are parallel to the length of the bus. He will start to squirm around in the seat and then suddenly he will reach up and grab the loop hanging down from the bar above him. I don’t know if the movements are in motion with the music that he is listening to, or if he is just playing around, either way, he will start swaying back and forth and periodically will complete a pirouette while holding the loop above him. He will continue to do this until he reaches his stop, then happily “jumps” off the bus and merrily goes on his way…the comedian that he is…
Trust me, I do have more transit stories…in situations like these, I feel like I am a magnet for the unusual, or perhaps I am just in the right place at an uncomfortable time! I have also found that bus stops can be just as entertaining; I’ve been in situations where all I’ve wanted to do was find a soap box for individuals to stand on – personally, I thought soapbox speeches were the thing of the past – but apparently not!
The next time you are contemplating if you should take transit or not…go ahead, get your fill of entertainment – it’s worth it.
All attached pictures were taken during my trip to the Calgary Transit Bus Depot. In September Calgary participated in a program called, “Open Doors”, where various companies opened their doors to the public to show us what goes on behind the scenes. Calgary Transit was definitely a highlight of the day!
Categories: The Unusual...