There is a certain happiness sighted when your bus comes along. It is of course a small specialized form of happiness and will never be a great thing.

-Richard Brautigan, The Old Bus

Friday, May 16, 2008

The wife's comfortable routine

The wife offers this update on her transformation into a transitarian

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Riding transit is settling into a comfortable routine. it's not hard to change one's mindset when planning the day: you think about where things are in relation to the bus/train route. It turns out, lots of places are accessible that way, with a little walking. And especially downtown, you don't have to hassle with finding a parking place and feeding the meter, or paying an exorbitant fee. In an ideal week, I forgo the 84 home from Starfire and relieve my son of the burden of having to pick me up. I continue on the train and meet the husband at 65th Street, where we board the 82 and ride home, chatting and reading. (OK, I'm chatting, the husband is trying to read.) I love it!

A big plus when riding? Using the cell phone is not dangerous, you can yak all you want, look up numbers without getting into an accident, and no one will give you dirty looks. OK, if you talk too loudly, people might get mildly annoyed, but usually the bus is rather noisy and you can't hear much.

Sure could use those cup holders.

Work has been grueling and having to leave at 5:30 to catch my bus helps to keep things sane and in perspective. The ride home is still relaxing most of the time, except for a tinge of anxiety at the Starfire stop, wondering when the 80 will arrive. However, all you have to do is think about driving in rush hour traffic, and you get over it. After riding for six weeks, I can't say I find fault with any drivers as far as system shortcomings. The shortcomings lie with the limitations of the routes and times.

Today I had an appointment downtown and decided to take the day off. My goal is to make this a day off without having to drive. My husband shooed me out the door and I waited a few minutes at the stop for my coach to arrive. He cannot be content without my calling to tell him I'm on the bus. In 1/2 hour I was at the 65th Street light rail station, and from there I took the train to 23rd and R, then walking to 20th and O After my appt., I indulged myself by walking up 21st to the Lucky Cafe and had a rare breakfast. From there it was a block and a half to J Street, where I had just enough time to sit down and take my bus pass out before the 31 arrived to take me to Sac State. At Sac State, I had to wait about 15-20 minutes for the 82, but how nice it was to read, watch people, and listen to music.

You realize that driving in a car shuts you off from the world and practically imprisons you in a little metal box. You are not in control; the road and the traffic are in control of you and your experience.

Later this evening, I will again walk out of my door and get on the bus to the new Chipotle's at Watt and El Camino to pick up dinner. The husband, who works later, will be taking the 82 home and will either meet me at the restaurant, or I will get on his bus for the return home together. Silly as it may seem, I think this sounds fun and I'm looking forward to it!

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