May 29th, 2008

I love muni

Well, most people have a love-hate relationship with muni. I am beginning to realize that it is possible to love muni - but in order to do that, you have to be in a zen state of mind; very present and in the moment, completely ignoring the meeting you're going to be late to.

Case in point: riding the muni to work this morning. The driver seemed like he was a brand new immigrant who had never driven on the streets and freeways of a major city. It started out by being annoying, when he would brake for no reason, and then you would feel a slight bump as the bus went over a minuscule pothole in the road. And then he would brake again, and you would look around wildly for the accident that was narrowly averted - but no. There was just a pickup truck in the next lane that was traveling slightly faster than the bus.

Then, it got to be a game - lets see, will he brake for the miata that's coming up from behind? Yes! Great job driver - it would not do for that tiny car to be crushed, pulled up between the tires and be spat away like an insignificant insect.

And that's when the distractions started - apparently, the windshield wipers needed to be switched on and off, in tandem and singly, until they were wiping to a rhythm none of us could hear.

And then, tragedy: we were at a red light, and there were cars all around us. What will he do? Will he drive on when the light turns green? Will he swing the steering wheel wildly, knocking everyone out of the way?

Of course not - he's the brake rider. He's going to stop right there, until everyone's gone and only then, will he start moving.

But not before breaking out into loud bursts of laughter.
Of relief perhaps?

At my stop (near the transbay terminal) one of the passengers walked up in front and asked him which way the bart station was. The driver pointed to the terminal and gave the poor passenger instructions on how to get there and how bart was under there, and then burst out laughing again.

When your day starts like that, how can you not love muni?

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