Wednesday, August 6, 2008

I like my morning ride.

Presented for your inspection: two months of fully-punched bus tickets representing probably about two and a half months of riding buses due to the occasional cash fare. I switched to the plastic-credit-card method where you buy a month's worth of fare for $95 and just flash the card when you get on. It's got the month written on it in big easy-for-bus-drivers-to-read letters and I just have to show the right month name and I'm in. I can ride as much as I want now, which is as little as I have to.

Actually it just amounts to my daily commute. My entire commute expenses are $95 NZD a month. That's pretty good, I think. No wear and tear on a car, no gas, no carbon molecules drifting about in the troposphere making hippies choke on their muesli, and no messy paper tickets to clutter up my wallet towards an eventual George Costanza Fat Wallet.

Things are still the same on the morning bus, more or less. Ozzy and Ozzy Mom still ride almost every day, though The Vicar isn't seen as frequently on the 8:25. He might be catching the bus earlier or later, though I still see him from time to time. The hypoxia twins (the two College girls who talk a blue streak in a back bench) have been discussing prom, prom dresses, hotels, who's going to drink when and where and how much and the general sort of cute teenage prom-related madness that is probably singular in the whole secondary school experience for the intensity with which you magnify its importance beforehand and the puzzlement with which you discard its importance afterwards.

A few other characters have emerged as interesting regulars. There's a mid-height slightly porcine man with small-framed but thick-lensed glasses who sits near the front. He's always in a sportscoat and looking very neat and clean. I call him "The Engineer."

Then there's Good Scarlett. She's in her late teens, I'm guessing, looking a bit like Scarlett Johansson but a little more cherubic and not as pouty. I figure Scarlett Johansson is the "bad" Scarlett to her "good" Scarlett. She recently dyed her hair red, which makes her sort of pale cherubic qualities more pronounced but doesn't really suit her, I think. The nickname's also a play on Good Charlotte, which is a tedious American "screamo"/emo post-goth musical irritant. It seemed to fit, I dunno.

There's a woman who's probably in her mid 50's who dresses to the nines and carries herself like someone who grew up with privilege. She stands out because she's beautiful in a "I'm not trying to look 19 my whole life" sort of way. In fact, her clothes are pretty down-scale. She just wears it all with a sort of dignified composure that up-scales everything for her. Her purses are vinyl, shoes are worn, jewelry is scuffed and sunglasses are knock-offs. I don't have a name for her yet, but she's on the bus almost every morning---I'll think of something.

And finally there's a couple that rides together almost every morning. They're polite but not friendly as I see them waiting at my stop when I get out there. I give them the quickly raised and lowered eyebrows of "hello there, I see you there, and since we're going to be standing near each other I'll pass along an indication that I've noticed you and that I'm here and that I make eye contact and won't be likely to stab you and take your stuff" and get a half-smile or a nod. They're an interesting couple in that she looks a bit like a barn owl and he's way out of her league.

I still like my morning ride. I play video games on my Nintendo DS, use my Playstation Portable to either play video pinball or read programming textbook PDF files, or just look out the window or watch the curious New Zealand people.

Now, if it's not raining---which it usually isn't these days (not raining, I mean)---I get off a few stops early and walk through the city to work. I like getting the legs moving and the blood pumping before I sit down at my desk for the next nine hours. If it's a sunny morning, I sometimes get off at the train station and walk the rest of the way in.


Patois said...

For some reason, "Stella" comes to mind for the mid-50s woman. Just don't dub her "Ruth" or "Sharon" 'cause you know where that will get you.

Jacob said...

Hey nice banner image! I like the new look.