Public Transportation Offers More Than Just A Ride To School

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Photo by: Bobby Brown

Illustration

Let me jump right into it–the Fresno buses can get a little, or a lot, weird.

Coming from a different town, riding the the buses here is definitely an experience. I remember going back home and telling my parents the different stuff I would see and hear while on the bus to school.

And of course, being typical Mexican parents, they urged me to be (more) careful and to not talk to anybody on the bus.

The first time I rode the bus, I ended up being on it for almost two hours because I didn’t know where my bus stop was, and while I was panicking about having no clue where I was, (later I found out that I was in downtown), I was examining the different people that got on.

Recently, I got to witness a bus driver almost being punched in the face, and possibly even stabbed after he started moving before everyone was settled and caused a guy to fall over a girl’s back (this bus was so full, a lot of people were standing).

Everyone was at the edge of their seats as the man got so close to the bus driver and started yelling, “What the f*** is wrong with you?” The driver’s face remained nonchalant, and showed no emotion about what was going on around him.

He did not even flinch even though this man was so close to doing something. I could see the man touching his pockets while yelling at the bus driver.

Fortunately, nothing happened, and the guy got off after demanding to be dropped off.

Everyone was so different — the bus drivers were a lot meaner than the ones back home. I have noticed, though, that the morning bus drivers are a lot nicer and much more cheerful. It’s rare to get a greeting from the drivers in the afternoon and evening.

Waiting at the bus stops is also strange. So far, three events have occurred while I was waiting for the bus:

A guy asked me if I painted my toenails?  I didn’t think much of it until he began to ask me if I can show him the color of my toenail.

I got so freaked out that I just tried to ignore him, but I could see at the corner of my eye, he was waving and trying to get my attention again(I had earphones on). Because of that, I had to miss my bus because he got on it. I was mad I had to wait for another bus, but also relieved he left.

Another time, a random guy came up to me and told me to rap with him. After denying that offer over and over again, he finally said, “Fine, I’ll just rap to you then.”

He seemed very satisfied with his rap–even though I couldn’t hear anything due to the traffic noise. Finally, before the bus came, he said, “You should get a job at 7-Eleven and give me free stuff.”

The weirdest one of them all was witnessing a 30-year-old guy throwing himself on the ground. He started on the grass, and then moved to the street. I was so confused — when the bus came he acted so casual and said to another person on the bus, “Oh you reading that? I just finished that one.” [Talking about Twilight.]

Overall, taking the bus isn’t too bad…anymore. I’ve gotten so used to riding them and all the strange occurrences that they feel totally normal.

If you have not taken the bus, start your own adventure.