Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Bus Stop Bemusement

Since I have given up driving, I have been relying on public transportation to get around.  For the most part, I take the bus, and get on at the same stop, and get off at the same stop, almost everyday.  I rarely get the same bus driver, though.  What this means, is that I can never be quite certain whether they will know to stop for me.  It seems, I confuse them quite a bit.
A few weeks back, I was waiting at my usual bus stop, when I held out my hand to signal the bus to stop.  Instead, the bus revved right past me, leaving me confused, and a bit agitated.  The next bus was due to stop 20 minutes later, so I took off my back pack, and waited.  When I saw the next bus round the corner, I again, stood up and signaled for the bus to stop.  Again, the bus kept on going.  Really? I thought to myself I just got passed by TWICE?  At that point I figured it was just a sign to walk home.  So I did.  The entire walk home, which took about 45 minutes, I chuckled to myself how confused the poor bus drivers must be.  There I am, standing in front of the bus stop, holding up my hand, while my head shakes "no".  They were probably thinking "She's just waving hello, while saying she's not catching the bus."  At least that's what I presume they're thinking.
A couple of days later, the same thing happened, and in the weeks following, it's happened at least a few more times.  Last week, I was caught in this now familiar predicament, and resigned to taking my usual seat while I waited for the next bus.  When it arrived, the bus driver opened the doors, and immediately exclaimed "I am SO sorry I didn't stop for you!  I thought you were saying no!  I will never forget you again."  I smiled and assured him it was fine, that it happens often.
Although the same thing happened this morning, I've managed to adapt by getting to the bus stop in enough time so that if the first bus doesn't stop, hopefully the next one will, and I won't run late for wherever I am supposed to be. I also make a point of not looking directly at the bus, but rather keeping my gaze lowered, so that they don't think I'm saying no to THEM.   I expect over time, more bus drivers will recognize me and realize I'm not just waiting in front of a bus stop, shaking my head no because I don't want them to stop.  In the meantime, I continue to get a laugh every time they pass me by.  After all, why would they stop for someone who looks like they're telling them "No"?

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