Comments for the bus

I see a lot of strange people on my morning commute. I could comment on all of them, but I would occupy so much server space that I might be asked to leave this domain.

The is a woman that gets on my stop at the same time I do. She’s youngish, pretty in her own way, doesn’t stand apart from some of the beauty queens of the morning, but doesn’t hide from them either. She is normal by my judgement in almost every way.

The way that this woman acts toward other people on the bus is what has reserved her a place on this blog. She pushed and shoves without any visible consideration. I am utilitarian about public transportation; the happiness of the entire passenger manifest should guide everyone’s moral choice. If you need space, visually check if it’s possible, make eye contact with the people you are about to push out of the way and utter the tension soothing ‘Pardon me, excuse me.’ All would be good.

This woman fails at that. She also fails at it every morning I ride with her. Miss Manners should get on the back door and scold someone.

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European runners

I get up early to ride my bike before work. It resilient only time I have to train, since I work 9 hours a day and my nights are consumed by grad school papers.

It’s usually dark when I get out of bed. It’s still dark when I leave my house. Blinking lights keep me alive on a road filled with half awake drivers. When I finally ride away from the busy streets around my house into the Presidio, the cars disappear and tranquility surrounds me. I keep my lights on out of courtesy to others on the road, so I don’t surprise them.

Every once in a while, I’ll come across a European runner. They are usually running the wrong way in the road, don’t use lights, and run in the bike path. I give them room because I don’t want to offend them.

You see, in Europe, people drive on the other side of the road. Their steering wheels are on the right side of the car as well. Everything is opposite to our life here in the states. They are probably so used to driving on the other side of the road, they just continue running on that side out of habit. It would be wrong to get mad at the Europeans for this, it’s their culture.

Europe is very forward thinking as far as nature is concerned. They recycle everything they use and get most of their power from nuclear sources. This let’s them run endless amount of electrical appliances like computers, blenders, microwaves and lamps. They can also cover the entire part of their inhabited part of Europe with streetlights. This is mostly done for safety, but also just because they can. Running in the dark is something they never do, and the runner’s light market just doesn’t exist.

As a result, they just never use lights. You can get angry at them for this, they are European.

Everyone who has been to Europe knows that bikes rule. When you are born, you are assigned a shiny, new bike to ride or trade for other bikes. The respect for bike riding is so high, they don’t have bike lanes. It’s just crazy. Cars have to share the road with bikes, so Europe doesn’t bother building bike lanes. The runners just think our crazy lanes are for them. Not a problem.