El Autobus

December 16, 2008 at 6:44 pm Leave a comment

Once the site of endless torture in my youth, I now find the bus to be a place of solace and reflection. I typically ride my bike to work, but on especially cold, rainy, or lazy days I ride the bus because the Chapel Hill-Carrboro transportation system is awesomely convenient and free. Additionally, it is rife with prime eavesdropping/people-watching opportunities. Some of my favorites:

People on their cell phones revealing entirely too much personal information

Figure 1: “Omg I’m totes po-ed!!! I didn’t know you could get herpes from a goat!”

Family drama, payin’ billz, etc. The woman next to me this morning discussed the challenges of balancing your career ambitions with those of your partner. She also put it in my head that I should look into the JAG corps. Weird, I know, but I’m oddly drawn to the military, maybe it’s all the buff dudes

Old people

Figure 2: Hell yes I’m goin out tonight!

Generally the old people on the bus are amazingly pleasant and talkative. I’ve had several older folks compliment me with something like, “Well you look very nice today young lady,” and of course that totally makes my day. I had one bizarre interaction in which a woman in a lavender suit asked me to help her put her arm in her jacket. I had my headphones in and thus could not hear her at first and must have given her a quizzical look because she responded with, “You know you won’t always be young, this will be you one day asking a stranger to help you with your jacket!” On the less-depressing side, I recently had the pleasure of sitting across from an adorable couple. They were off in their own little world holding hands. The husband says to the wife, “Well, how should we pass the time today my dear? Would you like to go to the library?” Maybe they just met last month, but I’d like to think they’ve been married for 50 years and that someday I’ll have that rather than an ill-fitting purple jacket (although given my sartorial and romantic choices, the latter seems inevitable).



Figure 3: iPhone has made me creepy, but to be fair the Baby in a Bearsuit is asking for it.

Yes, the screaming ones can be obnoxious, but most of the children I’ve encountered have been well-mannered and all around irresistible. A lot of them talk nonstop or ask questions that their parents may find annoying but I find adorable.



Figure 4: There’s no shame in public transportation, Ty.

Tyler Hansbrough shares my bus stop and by the transitive property (…maybe??) , I am a minor celebrity. At least, I feel like it when I board behind him and affect the nonchalant air of a member of his posse. Also he totes asked me when the next bus was coming one time omgomgomgomg!!@@


Figure 5: The next stop will be the Southern Village park and ride.

I have yet to encounter a surly bus driver here. Maybe they give them personality tests or they have really comfy seats. I dunno. In any case, one of my favorites is named Robert. Every day sophomore year I took the NS bus to my job at the law firm and every day at the front of the bus there would be a piece of poster board with a different quote on it. He never mentioned the quotes and I never heard anyone ask about them. Robert’s immense beard and reserved nature only added to his mystique.

“Art is always and everywhere the secret confession, and at the same time the immortal movement of its time”

The only quote that I remember is the Marx one above. Robert’s sources were varied though– Kant, Voltaire, Yogi Berra, and I think even Britney.

I, L’relle Antoinette, hereby publicly pronounce my love of and Robert the NS bus driver and The Bus as a larger entity.


Entry filed under: Tributes.

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