Another story about MUNI and the lack of common decency displayed by its riders.
This morning I found a nice place to stand in front of the single seats. These are coveted spots since standing there does not obstruct other riders from walking by. Also, when the seated passenger leaves, you get a single seat to yourself.
I am standing there minding my own business when the bus stops to pick up the last batch of passengers before hitting the freeway. I am holding the overhead bar between two vertical bars. A fellow passenger holds the vertical bar to my right with her left hand. Another passenger further down is holding the bar to the right of her. The second passenger down recognizes the occupant of the seat I am standing by.
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The second passenger and seated passenger exchange exuberant greetings. The second passenger proceeds to change her hand hold from the first passenger’s right-hand bar to the same vertical bar the first passenger is using. This directly puts the second passenger in the first passenger’s standing space.
| me | 1 2 |
The conversation between the two continue unabated by the obvious discomfort of the first passenger. A few minutes pass and the first passenger moves to squeeze between other passengers on the opposite side of the walkway. The second passenger doesn’t even apologize and steps into the vacant space. We are now in a situation where I am standing side by side with this person.
| me | 2 |
She continues her conversation with the seated person. I’m thinking to myself that she’s probably going to stay where she is, right? She doesn’t need to get any closer. She is in perfect conversation distance from her friend, which is an arm’s length by the way.
My assumption was full of fail. She leans down towards her friend and speaks in a louder conversational voice. Conveniently for her, the backpack she is wearing pushes me out of the space which leaves me standing in the middle of the walkway with no handholds.
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This recounting has been brought to you by the letter D.
…goes a long way.
I believe I spoke of this matter in the past. When you are packed into a sardine can with a number of other people, there is no space to maneuver, if by chance you wished to flee. I was in that state of hopelessness yesterday.
I was riding the 14x yesterday, the bus was packed to the rim. My standing position was in the middle of the aisle. I had to put my right foot perpendicular to the rotational axis of the earth while holding onto the top rail with my fingertips. Awkward, but I am use to the yoga-like positions by now.
So I am standing there, feeling sexually harassed by the amount of grinding going on when the bus makes sudden movements, when the guy to my right facing me has the mother-of-all sneezes.
People who sit in the single seats on MUNI that have the audacity to cross their leg so that it sticks out into the walkway path.
I am totally fine if the leg is partially in the walkway since some people may have long legs and have trouble fitting into the space provided.
But, no way should the leg be so far out there that I need to swerve to the edge and walk sideways to get pass.
And when you bump or trip over their leg, they get pissed. Well, duh. The leg is so freaking far out there, it would be impossible to avoid.
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.
Danger isn’t regulated to just the streets, but on public transportation as well. You’re stuck in a confined space with no easy access surrounded by total strangers. Assault, robbery, and molestation are the standard fare. But, there are other dangers that are more off the beaten path, especially in a city like San Francisco. Even moreso when MUNI is brought into the conversation. But there are less unlawful dangers to look out for, more annoyances really.
You may find yourself standing next to a crazy lady conversing with herself over the importance of fine dining and the proper use of etiquette. If you try to join the conversation, don’t expect to leave with your sanity intact. Off to the side would be a normal looking blue collar worker on the outside, but after a minute you realize he has a very bad case of Tourette’s syndrome. During the winter days, a number of riders cough and sneeze without covering up. A few even spit their phlegm onto the back of seat. Disgusting.
One of the worst though are the drunkards. Not the sleepy drunks or the depressing drunks, but the crazy, angry drunks. They always stumble onto the bus bellowing at anyone nearby and raising a ruckus. Now, take this crazy, angry drunk, combine him with the most foul-smelling body odor and he becomes the worst possible encounter you can have on a bus!
I take public transportation every day and I could go on and on about the problems existing in the current system here in San Francisco with MUNI. With the amount of money the City puts into MUNI every year, you would think they could come up with a dependable system.
In the morning, I took this one line which is always packed. Usually, the bus will be filled to the rim and pass my stop without picking up any passengers which gets me royally pissed. Not only that, the same bus coming back down the other direction is totally empty. Complaints have been filed with MUNI but they still haven’t moved those buses from the other direction onto the crowded direction.