This piece is unusual for this blog because it’s true. These days I’ve been taking the bus to and from work. It’s not a bad commute, usually only about 15 minutes and the buses are never crowded. If you have to take public transportation, take it where it’s not that popular, as opposed to Korea where I once counted about 90 people on my bus and only then because I was taller than most of them.
The best part of taking the bus (besides sitting and listening to audiobooks) is watching the other people. Most people tend to blend together, just masked figures that get on quietly and sit engrossed in their phones but sometimes someone will stand out.
One is a little girl that has started getting on with her mother a few stops after me. She’s probably about three with a mass of curly hair and every time she gets on the bus, it’s like watching a little Indiana Jones about to embark on a new adventure. She is so excited to be on the bus and looking around with barely contained energy and excitement. Her mother picked her up last time to keep her from charging ahead on her own and the little explorer yelled “Yaaaay!” all the way back to their seats.
On the way home that same day, the bus stopped for an old man with a bald head and a thick white beard that stuck out from his chin like a pharaoh’s beard. He seemed to be homeless and the first thing he did when the doors opened was throw a bundle of blankets and clothes into the bus before going back to get his backpack and other things. Everyone waited while he climbed on, then scooped up all his possessions and pushed them into an empty seat, smiling and saying thank you the whole time. He seemed to be wearing about four shirts of various styles.
Two very different people from different stages of life but both very happy just to be riding the bus.
March 29th, 2021 at 4:09 pm
I loved all these wonderful references…a little Indiana Jones. The Little explorer.
Kids are so pure living in the moment that everything becomes an adventure.
The homeless man with a Pharaoh’s beard. His sole possessions loading up…people patiently waiting. His gratitude to be simply settled in a seat. He and the kid had much in common. Simple pleasures that most of us would casually miss.
Opening paragraph….If you have to take public transportation, take it where it’s not that popular, as opposed to Korea where I once counted about 90 people on my bus and only then because I was taller than most of them.
That made me chuckle….wonderful piece. You should pen more of these.
Your most admiring Friend 🙂
March 29th, 2021 at 5:53 pm
Thank you! Maybe I will, especially since non-fiction generally does better than fiction anyway. I’ll keep an eye out to life, as you do.
March 30th, 2021 at 4:01 am
There are tales to tell everywhere. I grinned at you forgetting your mask and couldn’t get on the bus. Now, you could make hay outta that. 🙂
March 29th, 2021 at 6:23 pm
People watching is a delightful pastime. Finding joy is heartwarming.
March 29th, 2021 at 7:52 pm
Yes, it’s always nicer when you spot the gleams of beautiful humanity instead of the uglier side. My friend Susannah at https://athingirl.com/ is great at that kind of story.