Friday, August 26, 2005

The Wheels On the Bus Go Round and Round

Today Frederick and I started our campaign to lower expenses, namely the amount we spend on gasoline. Instead of driving to his house and carpooling to work, I parked. Popped inside for a moment to say hello to my furry stepkids (love you, Sammy, Skeeter & Logan!) and good morning to Jed and Adrian. Adie looked up from his exersaucer and happily said "No!" to me when greeted. We left Poppa tearing around the house like a mad man and set off on our short walk to the bus stop. Yes, the bus stop. I sat on the bench, clutching my $10 unlimited bus rides for 31 days pass, and listened to Frederick tell me how his new tent that is supposed to take 10 minutes to set up only took him 20 minutes...until he tried to attach the rain flap, which took him another hour or so.

The #5 Woodrow was right on schedule. I was surprised at how clean the bus was, and how everyone riding looked, well, like us. I guess I've seen too many movies with inner city bus rides where there is trash on the floor, graffiti on the walls and a schizophrenic person in the seat next to you. All in all it was a pleasant ride to work. The bus stop closest to the office is conveniently at the Starbucks at 6th & Congress. Even so, counting the time we took stopping for Freddy's caffeination, we made it to work in right at 40 minutes. If you add my drive time to the house, it was just under an hour. Yeah, if we'd driven to work, it would've saved time. So what? I'm hoping that by cutting my weekday commute by 50% I won't be spending more than $30 filling up my tank each week.

What are you willing to do to combat the high cost of gas?


Frederick Reinhardt said...

I can't believe you outed me like that! I TOLD YOU...I'm NOT ALLOWED TO STOP AT STARBUCK'S DURING THE WEEK...unless you pay!

sean said...

i divorced my car

Leslie said...

Give it another 2, maybe 3, days on the bus.

My favorite bus memories…

*A very smelly, obese man who kept whispering “Bitch! Bitch!” behind me.
*A middle-aged woman who thought she was Christ reincarnated, and castrated.
*A young schizophrenic…or perhaps thespian…who screamed “Seven! Seven! Eat the seven! Seven will blow your mind! Seven!” at the same time as the New Christ (above) was shouting apocalyptic sermons until they both actually began to compete with each other and became louder and louder and louder.
*An elderly black woman who shouted obscenities at a younger black woman, just because she shared a seat with a white man and…gasp!...talked to him.
*A petite elderly woman with extremely prominent cheekbones who gave me dirty looks and grumbled under her breath because I sat next to her (which happened to be the only seat available).
*A skinny country boy who shouted at a young punk kid getting off the bus “Comb your hair! You look like a queer!” after which his buddy drawled “I like them tight jeans.”
*A creepy man who saw my large book bag, assumed I was a runaway, asked me if I needed help, and offered to take me to a “safe place.”
*The bus driver who was a tour guide in his past life and narrated my entire ride home, over the intercom, pointing out some of Austin’s most prominent landmarks, such as the SpinCycle Coin Laundry” and “Jana’s Pet Grooming Salon.”

…to name a few.

Public transportation is great. Number 5 alive!

TwinKim said...

I, too, have enjoyed public transportation. Until I went to work in Hell, I worked in downtown St. Louis. To save money, I drove halfway to the closest Metro Link Light Rail lot and tool the train the rest of the way in. The stop was one long city block away from work.

I have two favorite memories of riding the train. The first one was an obviously schizophrenic young man who muttered to himself throught the entire ride, including the part where he tried to have a conversation with me about fried chicken.

The other was when I was on my way home from work and coming down with something. There's something special about being queasy while trapped on a speeding silver bullet! To top it off, the train was excessively full that day and I had to stand for my entire 25 minute commute. I got to my car, drove home as fast as I could and then spent the rest of the night calling dinosaurs and worshiping the porcelain god.

Kaya said...

Obviously, I have a lot to look forward to in my Cap Metro life. And Freddy, I didn't mean to out you. Um, Jed...I bought.