I climbed onto my bus today and found myself confronted by a dozen 4 year olds. Apparently, their daycare decided to take them on a field trip and use public transportation to do it. They were pretty cute and I figured I was one of the few commuters who wouldn’t mind too much sharing the bus with them. I sat down across from a young gentleman and smiled at him.
He scowled at me.
I scowled back and then turned it into a smile, just to show I was playing.
He bared his teeth.
I stuck my tongue out.
He went back to scowling ferociously.
I noticed he was strategically placed between two daycare workers, so I assumed he was a troublemaker and went back to smiling.
People climbing on the bus usually went through a series of similar emotions when they saw the other passengers. Surprise, confusion, panic. One guy swore.
With all the youngsters, the bus filled up rapidly. As much as I enjoyed making faces at my neighbor, I spotted another bus that would get me to campus and decided to switch over so give the others more space.
This was an unwise move. The bus smelled like bleach. And not just like, ‘huh, you smell something weird?’ kind of bleach. An all-consuming-I’m-losing-brain-cells kind of smell. I was happy to get off.
Then, after classes, I got on my third bus of the day. This one also smelled like bleach. However, whereas the first one looked clean inside but smelled, this one smelled like bleach and also looked like someone confused it with a garbage truck. The floor was littered with rotting bananas, candy wrappers, and old newspapers. I’ve never seen a city bus so filthy.
Just another day using public transportation.