San Francisco, October 2013:
Bus drivers. Without wanting to generalise, in Holland it’s as if some tend to drive off deliberately just as you’re trying to get on, unwilling to wait a minute longer to allow some flexibility. While this is probably out of fear for the ever complaining Dutchies about ‘everything’ ‘always’ being delayed, the opposite seems to be the case in San Francisco. Bus drivers here are simply awesome.
There’s the time I was pushing my bike up Clayton Street and one actually stopped to signal I could get on, only to be left disillusioned when I thanked him but declined, as I was walking uphill intentionally.
Tonight though, I left the office late and couldn’t wait to get home. Cycling towards Twin Peaks, I saw the 37 on the corner of Market and Church as it was picking up people and getting ready to leave.
Raced across the intersection in my orange reflective vest, waving at the bus and hoping it’d stay put a little longer.
The driver saw me and did just that – in fact, he greeted me through the window as I was hurrying to get my bike on the bus’s bike-rack [an awesome perk of SF’s public transport system]. Of course the rush made me do it too quickly, so the bike fell off and the whole thing took well over a minute. When I came on he just smiled and said: “It looks good now. Solid.”
It reminded me of weeks ago, when I stood at the same corner on my way to Safeway. I was by foot and waited by the traffic-light with a bus in front of me about to take off. A young guy came running from the right, desperate to make it even though it had already begun moving. He ran passed and the female bus-driver stopped to let him get on.
While he caught his breath inside, she and I locked eyes for a moment – her door was still open, so I stepped to the side for a second to peek in and said: “That was kind of you.”
As she drove passed, she didn’t really look at me but merely stated: “You know it, girlfriend.”
Yeah, I know it girlfriend.
And I’m loving it. #peoplearekind