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Valued Social Butterfly
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ANTICS ON TheBus

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 A Plus, a Minus, and a Plus On TheBus

During the past week, I have witnessed some unusual events while I was seated on the bus. At one point, a bus driver left his station to help a couple of confused Asian tourists. They evidently were uncertain about how to locate some site in Waikiki.  The bus driver told them to cross the street and take any bus going in the opposite direction. When the tourists didn’t respond (perhaps they didn’t understand English very well), he then repeatedly pointed to the closest bus stop and nudged them to a cross walk. They nodded their heads and, with the bus driver guiding them, they safely made it to the other side of the street and lined up next to the bus stop. On my numerous outings on the bus, I have noticed bus drivers giving directions to passengers, but I have never seen a bus driver leave his bus to help pedestrians. No one on the bus complained about the delay. I felt like clapping: bravo to the Aloha spirit!

On the other hand, some bus drivers are obnoxious when they are trying to be helpful. After a bus drops off passengers and the doors are closed, comprehensive prerecorded messages pipe out the coming attractions at the next stop. So there is no need for a bus driver to repeat this information. But a few days ago, a bulky sour looking bus driver screeched out what we were approaching as the bus stop neared. Not only was his voice obnoxiously loud (my eardrums rattled). It was also so garbled that I couldn’t decipher any of it. It sounded like gargantuan  gibberish. I was so discomfited that I left the bus before my stop.

I got on another bus just as my ears began to decompress. I could have used a little bit of kindness as I began to settle in. And it came in the form of another passenger. A young Hawaiian man walking down the aisle to exit the bus offered me a fist bump. Appreciating his gesture, I complied.

Solidarity with a stranger accomplished: what a tribute to the Aloha spirit!

 

Another Odd Day on the Bus

While I was seated across from a woman nervously caressing her dog, the bus driver stopped at a painstakingly long red light. In front of us were two young women on bikes, each sporting a black flag. It was possible to take a right turn on red, but the bicyclists stayed put. The impatient woman, who perhaps wanted the bus driver to honk at the ladies to remind them that they could readily turn on this red light, shouted “Go!”  Of course the young ladies couldn’t hear the irate woman, but the bus driver had no intention of signaling them to move. Instead he distracted the woman by commenting on how the black flags, if the young ladies were bicycling at night, would be useless. Better to be any other color than black. The woman chimed in, listing every color she could think of besides black; even black-and-white polka dots would do.

Both she and the bus driver continued to lament how the black flags made bicycling unsafe at night. Eventually the light turned green: the young ladies turned right, something that they could have done long ago. But the bus driver got the woman so immersed in the black flag concern that she forgot her anger over the clueless young bikers who had delayed the bus. The bus driver had cleverly defused the issue. Excellent public relations!

 

Antics on TheBus

A man sitting with his wife asked the bus driver when the couple would arrive at their Waikiki destination. The bus driver said three stops. After the first stop, the man got fidgety in his seat. His wife ignored him. After the second stop, he walked toward the front of the crowded bus.  Two passengers were standing beside the bus driver, blocking the man. Then trying to get a glimpse of the road, the man bobbed and weaved and squatted and tiptoed until he finally managed to squeeze through next to the bus driver. Satisfied with the view ahead, the man returned to his seat and seemed pretty relaxed for a change. But as the bus neared the third stop, he jumped up, grabbed his wife, and blurted out, “That’s my stop.” He and his wife got all tangled up as they plunged out of the bus. I felt sorry for him, never mind his wife. It might be tough living with someone who is so easily agitated. I’m glad that I’ve mellowed over the years: and so does my wife.

schlomo
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