What are we talking about today?

Some days have themes. I don't necessarily post something in each of these topic areas every week.

Sunday: Church-related or spiritual things.
Monday: Running.
Tuesday: Books.
Wednesday: Transportation.
Friday: Green living.

05 October 2011

The (Not-So-) Magical E-bus

So it turns out that it's not called "NaBloWri Except When I Forget Mo". Dang.

Way back when we first plotted out Have Bus, Will Travel, I shared that there were a few routes that were just too impractical for me to take. Among them was the E-bus, the late evening/early morning service that runs between student housing centers and the downtown entertainment district. Since I neither live in a student area nor do I go downtown at night, I thought I was never going to take that bus.

Whaddya know, I was wrong.

Last Friday evening, I went to a birthday party for one of the really sweet, really tolerant 'normal' students who I've become so fond of over the past year. Sprained Ankle, in fact, is her wildly inaccurate nickname around Cheekyness. She's a lovely person and très fun and it was her 23rd birthday and she kindly invited me to come. So of course, I took 10 seconds to think long and hard about how I don't really do late nights or loud music and before agreeing to go.

Confession: I'd never been to a college party. I've been to parties where college-age people were gathered, but the loud music, bad dancing, crazy talking stereotypes you see on the movies? Not once until last weekend. You know what? It was fun. And there really were impossibly beautiful people there.

Anyway, the bus! As the evening wore on, the group decided to head downtown, so we made our way to an unusually crowded (by my experience) bus stop. And then the bus pulled up, already packed. That made me really nervous, because I so have personal space issues, and also because we were worried that we might not all get on the bus. Despite being rather independent when it comes to transportation, I was not excited at the prospect of having to ride a bus downtown with complete strangers if I got separated from the two people in the group who I knew.

I worried for nothing, since we did all get on, but the driver had to change the sign in front to 'Drop-Off Only' once our group was in, because there was no more room for anyone else. But then he also had to follow his normal route downtown, which strikes me as beyond silly. Why not have a back-up plan to go straight there once the bus is full? Running the complete route just results in a lot of frustrated people standing by the bus stops.

So, I'm on a really packed bus, fortunately standing (more or less) between the two people I know. This turned out to be a good thing, because at one point Sprained Ankle (in front of me) lost her balance and fell into me, so I fell into the guy behind me, who is one of our fellow consultants at the Writing Center. He was paying enough attention to catch us both and get us back on our feet. (God bless the strong young men who work at the Writing Center!)

Overall, what is the E-bus like? Lots of shouting. Since it was so packed, and since everyone was excited about heading downtown, they were all trying to talk over each other. And since it was her birthday and she was extra-giddy, Sprained Ankle led us all in our school song and a cheer. Apparently this is normal E-Bus behaviour, except that it's usually reserved for on the way home (i.e., once everyone is drunk), not the way there.

And when we got off downtown, everyone-- or at least the ones in my earshot-- thanked the driver. They may be rowdy, but they have manners.

And that was me on the E-Bus. I probably won't be repeating the experience anytime soon.


Anonymous said...

It still managed to be a happy bus experience though...party animal.

Su said...

Heh! Yeah, the real end of the story is that I got a taxi home once we got downtown. I wouldn't have the first idea of what to do in a bar!

Karen Peterson said...

I think it's cool they have a bus like that for the college students. The university where I went was very much a commuter school and that town's bus system left a LOT to be desired.