Wrong Bus.

After a long and anticipated last day before the break, I went to catch a bus to head to St. Vital mall to pick up some Christmas gifts. I caught the wrong bus on the wrong side of the street and ended up downtown. At first I was scared because I usually don’t bus alone, it was getting dark out, and I didn’t truly know where I was, because I’m not very good with streets. Nevertheless, I was determined to get to the mall. I crossed the rode and got to a bus stop where I then entered a heated bus shack (I love the heated bus shacks; I wish every stop had a heated bus shack). I was fortunate to find a really lively and fun group of women in there who were all headed to different places. We all started chatting, the jokes and friendly conversation distracted me from the fact that I didn’t know where I was and made me feel at ease. I found out that the next bus that would take me in the right direction broke down on the way so it wasn’t coming anytime soon. I was starting to feel worried until one of the ladies in the shack was kind enough to tell me how to get to the mall. I thanked her and told her how I need to get better at bussing independently. She then made me feel better about my lack of bussing skills with stories of how she got lost bussing many times over, and how she always had to find her way. I never got her name, but we became friends quickly.
Our bus finally came. It was behind schedule due to the rush hour traffic and packed with people to the point where we couldn’t fit behind the yellow line. The bus driver said,
“Sorry everyone. You’ll just have to squish back as far as you can so we can let on these people. I’m sorry I promise I won’t pick anyone else up after this.”
Legally since we didn’t fit behind the yellow line, the driver didn’t have to let us on. But she didn’t have the heart to leave us on the side of the street, so she let us on anyway.
As the long and backed up bus ride went on, slowly but surely, more and more people got off the bus. I had finally had a chance to sit down but I didn’t want to, because I felt a tad bit lonely and wanted to chat with the bus driver and thank her for letting me on the bus when she didn’t have to. I told her how I got lost and that I appreciated her squishing me onto the bus. We talked for the rest of the ride about how she loves her job, and about how experiences on the bus are always eventful and never boring. She said she loves knowing that each person who gets on her bus has a different story. We laughed and joked and I told her how I ride the bus alot, so I’ve seen interesting things on the bus and know what she means. From stories like when that big biker guy came storming onto the bus I was in, yelling because someone in the back threw something out the window at him. Or the time when the drunk old lady whispered into my ear that she really enjoyed her “special tea” that she just drank (I can only imagine what she put in her tea). The bus driver told me she rides the bus herself and knows what it’s like to be a passenger, I told her that’s what makes her such a good bus driver.
We finally reached the mall and I was able to pick up the Christmas gifts I needed. I was starting to get hungry and had enough money left for a meal at subway. It was a long line up, because the mall was so busy with last minute Christmas shoppers like me. It took about 15 minutes just to order my meal. Before it was my turn to pay, a man with his daughter looked at me and the lady before me and wished us a Merry Christmas. So we wished them one back. The man then told us that our subs were both paid for already and then he and his daughter left. It was such a nice surprise. I took note that throughout my whole unintended lost and unplanned evening, I had been cared for by complete strangers. It gave me a warm feeling on such a cold night. I sat down and enjoyed my paid for sub at a table where an elderly lady and her husband asked if they could sit with me because there were no more tables left. I was glad to have some company before my dad came to pick me up after his day at work and brought me home.
Today I got lost, but I didn’t feel lost, because what I found in return was a warm place to wait for the bus, help from a fellow bus rider, a long conversation with a very sweet bus driver, someone to sit with, someone to laugh with, and a free sub.

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