Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Groundhog Day

I have recently joined the world of the public transport commuter, albeit temporarily, catching the bus after a few years of working from home and even more years driving to and from work each day. I'd forgotten just how much the wait at the bus stop could resemble Groundhog Day; after all, human beings are largely creatures of habit.

I am reminded of my years catching the bus to university. Each morning, the usual crowd would assemble, the bus would arrive, and the man whose house the bus stop was directly outside of would come running through his front door, clutching his wallet, looking for his bus pass, while simultaneously trying to put his jacket on and swallow the last of his breakfast. The driver would often wait for him, sometimes looking out the door and down his pathway for signs of life emerging from the front door. On the rare occasion he made it out before the bus arrived, we'd all quietly check our watches to see if the bus was late.

After only a few days at the bus stop, I have already begun to notice some patterns emerging and repeated behaviour. Here's what happens at my bus stop in the mornings:
  • The 7:31 am bus never comes before 7:40 am. However, when it does finally arrive, it takes a much faster route into the city (as I discovered this morning).
  • A police car pulls up parallel to the bus stop, then reverses into the adjacent driveway. I thought this was really strange the first time I saw it.
  • A man walks past the bus stop, looks at the people standing there, then continues down the street.
  • A teenage girl arrives, simultaneously glued to her cell phone and her iPod.
  • A woman arrives from the left as though she is entering a fashion show. She could easily have spent at least half an hour on her hair already.
  • Two women meet up from different directions and chat politely. They don't seem to know each other particularly well. Perhaps they work in the same building, and coincidentally catch the same bus there, so feel it necessary?
  • A middle-aged man drops off his wife and gives her a goodbye kiss.
  • A father drops off his teenage daughter, who has a cast on her broken leg and hobbles out of the car on crutches.
I expect it will be the same tomorrow. :-)

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