Having taken the bus for more than 2 years in Los Angeles, I’m proud to say that I’m familiar with it and won’t be scared to take the Metro when a car is not available.
The other day, I got to ride the bus again…As I was sitting there doing nothing, I realized that bus (or train) riders can be broadly categorized into the following:
1. The Tourist
They are the ones who enjoy the ride the most. Usually with a camera and click, click, clicks away…They take photos of everything including street signs such as Beverly Drive and Santa Monica Blvd. They usually get off at landmarks and can normally be seen carrying a map (or lost). If you see them on a bus and they seem lost, try to help them as much as you can…they’ll appreciate it and you’ll feel good about it. Besides, when you’re in an unfamiliar place, you’ll appreciate friendly locals too!
This group is composed of a) those who have never been on a bus, and b) those who haven't been on a bus for an eternity. Most of them come unprepared...no idea how much the fare is, how to pay and where to get off.
Once in a while, you'll find a few who "explains" why they need to take public transportation for that day. They automatically say statements like "oh, I have to take the bus today because my car broke down" and "I have a car but I don't want to drive through the traffic". Trying to be defensive creates nothing but judgement...a stereotype for bus riders. There's nothing wrong with taking public transportation...Nobody cares if you have a car but decide to take the train because you want to save on gas.
3. Make-up Master
These women make me proud! They can expertly use an eyeliner while the bus is in motion. They can juggle between a mirror, a mascara and a cellphone. They get off the bus looking like they just stepped out of a salon. I will never ever attempt to do what they do…unless I want to look like a clown with uneven eyebrows...and a poked eye!
4. Irritable Passenger
They’re irritated with everything! Very impatient with the driver, the traffic, their co-passengers and the smell of the bus. Every time, I’m tempted to tell them to go buy a car or ride a cab. If you opt to take public transportation, don’t whine.
5. The Germaphobe
You need not tell me how clean public transportation is. Anything with the word "public" actually gives out a clue on how many germs are present in it. But in a world where seeing is believing, we're not really worried about our health when we touch the handle bars on a bus. However, there are individuals with super microbial vision...they carry covers for the seat, tissue paper for the handles and alcohol for everything. They are the Germaphobes...
They are the ones who doesn’t care about what’s happening around them...Sleeping through the traffic and the noise…They’re either too tired, bored or was just coming home from a party. What’s funny is that for a Sleepyhead Pro, they automatically wake up when they’re about to reach their destination.
I used to belong to this group..sleeping on the bus like I’m on our living room sofa! I stopped doing that after a crazy drunk dude brought a pocket knife inside the bus and scared the heck out of all the passengers…and I was there, barely one meter away from him, asleep!!! And no one even bothered to wake me up!!!
7. Never-ending Conversation Maker
They go far beyond the “hi, hello..how are you?” question. They will let you know what their job is, where they live, how many kids they have and their neighbor’s favorite tv show! Seriously, these guys won’t take your non-responsiveness as a clue that you don’t care! In case you're sitting next to one...just pretend you're a Sleepyhead, it will probably shut them up...just don't miss your stop!
Their cellphone is the center of everything. They can spend the whole ride making updates to their Facebook and Twitter accounts. They check their emails and text messages. I also consider bookworms and gamers part of this group. They're generally quiet...boring.
9. Excess Baggage Carrier
Once in a while, you get to see them. They're the ones with so many luggage...they occupy three seats (or sometimes, the whole aisle). They're generally nice and apologetic...but it doesn't change the fact that you're standing for the whole ride when you could have been sitting on one of the chairs...
10. M.Y.O.B. passengers
Mind Your Own Business (M.Y.O.B.) passengers are the wall paper of public transportation. They're neither bored, excited nor happy about the ride. You won't pay much attention to them since they make no sound. However, be on guard...that person might be writing a blog about you.
Take a bus once in a while…it’s fun! You might actually enjoy it....Then tell me, in which group do you belong?