Saturday, July 16, 2011

DRIVE-BY BOARDING

The other day, I was waiting for the 850. I waited for a good while. And another good while. Then the 850 came.

I got on the bus, as I often do, but this time something was different. On this particular day, the bus never actually stopped moving. It came close, but it never quite stopped. I can't fault the bus driver for this. Time was short. People have connections to make at the Transit Center. I am, by all appearances, young and fit and should be capable of negotiating a moving bus. In fact, not-quite-stopping is the normal technique for both picking up and dropping off passengers in many parts of the world.

However, someone forgot to warn me that this was going to happen. I was not expecting it. While I didn't fall over or anything (honestly, you would have had to have been looking right at me to know anything had happened at all), there was an awkward moment when I had one foot on the moving bus and one foot in the air, and as my body attempted to resolve the sudden disparity in our relative velocities, for a moment I feared for my continued verticality. Fortunately, I was able to grab a pole and right myself before I fell over completely, which, as buses are rather hard, angular things, would not be a very pleasant experience.

As it was, I regained my balance and my dignity, and the rest of the boarding experience was quite tranquil.

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