Saturday, August 30, 2008

Ode to Bus

(On a side note, the title to this post just reminded me of the time I played "Ode to Joy" at a piano festival. I forgot to play the middle part of the song -- it seemed awfully short to me when I had finished, and I was puzzled until I figured out my mistake. I still got a Superior. Woot.)

I spent three of the past five weekdays riding the bus to work while my car was having some body damage repaired. There's some things about riding the bus that I've always liked:

I like the interesting people you meet on the bus. On the first evening ride home I met Elsa, a ninety-year-old Chilean "who still dances." She lives with her son in Provo, but rides the bus to Orem every day to volunteer at an assisted living place. She's 90 and volunteers to help old people! She's probably older than a lot of the people she's assisting. She's in good health "because she keeps busy." I hope to get old like Elsa.

And I didn't meet, but observed, a pregnant lady riding the bus with her two young daughters. She was very much pregnant but not at all grouchy or "look-at-me-it's-so-hard." She was reading the signs in the bus to her daughters then interpreting them: "No offensive language -- that means you don't say mean things. No vandalism -- that means no writing on the seats." At the end of their ride, she helped up the youngest daughter so she could "pull the line" to signal a stop. I like good moms who enjoy just being moms.

Oh, and the BYU road maintenance crew needs to think a little more when they do things. Riding the 830 up past the Wilk one morning, we encountered heavy conage. Bookending every single, freshly painted, white, lane-dividing line were two small orange cones. So there was no way to change lanes. Our bus driver had changed lanes just prior to the cone derby and thus found himself stuck in the left lane as we approached a stop. Luckily, there was no one at the stop and no one wanted to get off... but good heavens, painting crew! Take the lane-changing out of a double lane road and you've broken the system.

I also like that the bus is slow -- that you have to wait for it and that it takes forever to get anywhere. I'm not being sarcastic. There's something good in not getting exactly what you want when you want it -- of having to wait for something. And there's something... relaxing about just getting there when you get there. Reminds me of my mission.

And lastly, I like that you have to walk more than 20 feet to get to work when riding the bus. Every day after work, walking beyond the parking lot to the wild unknown, I would follow a dog down the sidewalk. And you too, if you were to walk that way, would follow the same dog. As far as I know, he only made the trip once, but he chose to do it soon after the sidewalk makers had done their job thereby leaving his footprints in the slabs.

And this is funny:


Tammy said...

I love your shout out to moms :) Observations like this provide very good advice.

And I totally agree with taking transportation that takes a while. It forces us to remember to be patient in life and to enjoy just being :)

Megs said...

hahaha. That video is fabulous. I also love the bus, although I haven't been a frequent rider around these parts. I might have to get a bus pass now that I'm so far away from campus. Buses make me think of transportation in England, which is always slow but wonderful.

Tammy said...

I wrote a post that I would like to hear your oh so educated opinion about :) And sorry I didnt make it to the party after all, I went shopping for a bike today but didnt buy it yet so I had no way to trek the 721 miles.

Cynthia said...

I love when the bus is early and gets there (and leaves) before you do! Sorry, that was not so sincere... Matt, I love your blog. And for the record, I played Tetris for the first time ever!

Todd said...

matt are you leaving the shawn johnson fan club to join the cross-dressing gymnist fan club?

Matt said...

Todd, I will never abandon Shawn!