Riding and Reading; The Safe Way to Commute

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Five days a week I, like most other people, go to work. There are potentially dozens of ways for me to get to work: car, bike, segway, helicopter, skate board, or hitch hiking; the options are potentially endless. I have chosen to go the traditional route and commute via the bus. On my way to work I take a TriMet bus (#44, #54, or #56) from stop #925 to stop #7803; on my way home I take a bus from stop #7586 to stop #955. The ride to work takes 13.5 minutes. The ride home takes either 15 or 21 minutes depending on which bus I catch. During this time I read. During most other times I like to babble. This blog combines all three: books, buses and babble.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Connecting with Balram

Book: The White Tiger
Bus #56; 6:35 a.m.
Pages: 0

Have you seen the movie "Speed"?

This morning's bus driver has.

A few hundred feet past where the bus picked me up there was an unexpected detour. The usual route is a direct shot onto Barbur Blvd (a main road into downtown), it takes about 30 seconds. The detour was a much longer ride down a very windy (typical SW Portland) road which takes about 8 minutes (at least).

We made it in 2.

If a deranged technological genius had rigged the bus so that it would explode if it went slower than 50mph, we would have been safe. I audibly gasped when we swerved into the on-coming lane just before a blind curve to avoid smashing into a truck slowing to a stop. As I tried to regain my composure, I looked around at the other passengers. They all looked completely at ease; I was alone in my terror. At that moment I felt a kinship with Balram. Just as I was the only one scared of dying in an out of control bus, little Balram was the only one in his school scared of the lizard living in the cupboard. My fellow passengers were Balram's classmates, perfectly at ease with the giant lizard prowling their classroom, and I am Balram.
I didn't read this morning, b/c I left my book by my computer. It wouldn't have mattered if I did have it, b/c I was too terrified to take my eyes off the road.

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