Monday, January 14, 2013

EXPRESS PEOPLE

I may never have the opportunity to do this again, so it's probably a good thing I got to take advantage of it this time.

By this, of course, I mean "commute to BYU during rush hour on FrontRunner." There was only one day on which I had a final even remotely approximating rush hour, and I was on FrontRunner at this time on this day only because I decided to show up 45 minutes late for my final (why 7:00 AM? WHYYYYYYYYY?) And so it happened that I got off FrontRunner with a bunch of people headed to work at BYU, or possibly 8:00 a.m. finals (a much more sensible time). And even as I walked and sat among them, I observed them.

It soon became apparent that some of them had never ridden a local bus in their lives. The first sign was when we got to the bus and several people expressed consternation that the bus said "830 Southbound."

"Is this the bus we're supposed to take?"
"It says southbound!"
"Isn't BYU to the north?"

My travelmates did not possess the serenity that comes of having successfully caught a bus with the wrong sign on it many times. I tried to assure them that the bus we were contemplating could not, in fact, go any further south, since it was at the end of the line. But nobody ever believes me when I tell them this sort of thing, and in this case several people looked at me like "Who do you think you are?"

I'm the BUSNINJA, freaks.

Eventually we all did sucessfully board the bus. It was gratifying to see a full 830 in South Provo. That hasn't happened in years that I've seen.

On the bus, someone expressed wonderment that you would pull a cord to signal the bus driver to stop. Several people seemed skeptical that this bus would, in fact, take them to BYU. Someone else said "Why are those bus stops, like, 100 feet apart? Is that really necessary?" Several people got on and off as we made our way to BYU. Everyone who got on was astonished to contemplate the number of people already on the bus (People are used to spreading out and taking up multiple seats if they want on this part of the 830). There was a vague air of uncomfortableness every time someone got off; people shifted nervously in their seats at the thought that someone else might get off somewhere besides BYU. I'm pretty sure some people had no idea that this route has existed for 11 years and that some people have been using it for other things than BYU for most of that time.

Finally, we did make it to the Wilkinson Center, and I could feel a sense from many of those around me of having passed successfully through a trial. And then, several people stopped short with exasperation at the fact that they would have to CROSS East Campus drive to get to work. But we made it through this trial as well, and hopefully everyone had a reasonably pleasant day at work before braving the 830 again.

I'm sure by now all these people are old pros at taking the 830, cord pulling, other people alighting, street crossing and all. But it was very interesting to watch the discovery process everyone went through on this day.

And the final? I have no idea how I did on the final. I didn't fail the class though. Phew!

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