MUNI Misadventures #1

Today’s bus ride to work was probably the most uncomfortable one in my lifetime so far.

The bus I take has a limited schedule; the last bus to hit my bus stop is at 8:45am. If I miss that one, I would have to walk another mile to get to BART. So, I leave early thinking I can catch an earlier one. Two blocks before I get to the bus stop, the sky opened up on me. Water cascaded down; I was soaked by the time I made it to the stop. Luckily, there was an open dry space near a fence I could stand on as long as I stood ramrod straight.

Five minutes later, the bus came; I was ecstatic. The bus rolled to a stop and the crowd of would-be passengers, myself included, swarmed the entry and exit-ways. The doors did not open. The driver revved up his engine and turned off towards the freeway. I stood there for a minute with a dismayed expression, rivulets of water streaming down my face. I wasn’t crying!

I made my way back to my dry spot and waited. 5 minutes. 10 minutes. 15 minutes. People were getting restless, some decided to trek towards BART. 20 minutes. 25 minutes. The rain came down harder if that was possible. 30 minutes. 35 minutes. My ear caught someone saying the time is 8:45am. At that point, I truly felt screwed.

Then, like a hot dog coming out of the boiler, a bus peeked out of the turn coming towards the stop. Again, we streamed towards the entryways hoping for the possibility the doors will open. They did! There was a rush of wind and everyone was scrambling aboard. I was the last one on due to my state of shock. I stood on the last step of the exit. The doors closed behind me with a sense of finality.

As the bus took off, there was a bit of jostling where I stood. People were pushing and pulling to gain room to stand. The irritation may have been caused by the lack of cool air in the bus. The heater was on full-blast, the windows were closed tight, and there was a distinct dirty gym socks smell in the air. There was a final push behind me and I literally face-planted against the back door’s glass window. I was stuck in that uncomfortable position for the whole trip.

With no other option, I watched the cars whiz by–only a foot of open air and the glass window separated myself from the speeding cars. I noticed a majority of drivers only drove with one hand. There were three different grip positions–the overhand grip, the 3/4 grip, and the lap grip. The other hand was busy either dialing a phone or holding coffee and/or a bagel.

The bus finally exited the freeway and arrived at its first stop. People were shoving trying to get out and I believe an indentation of my face was left in the glass window. When the doors opened, a stream of passengers exited the vehicle. I counted twenty overall. When I climbed back into the bus, I could only stand in the exact same position I had before. What the hell?! Twenty people left at my exit way. There are two other exits which probably let the same number of people out. How was I still stuck in the same position? 🙁

With every MUNI Misadventure, there is a lesson to be learned. Today’s lesson is:

If the first work day of the week has rain in its forecast, come up with a good excuse to work from home.

– Steven, Muni Misadventures Lesson #1

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