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Conversations with Bus Line #7

Time travelling through the lens of a driver, and witnessing the humans of San Francisco change

En route from Union Square to Haight. Destination: Changed.

It’s beautiful how situations in life happen so harmoniously.

I was recently on a 72-hour business trip in San Francisco (which was weird by the way, being a tourist in a place you used to call home).

On my last evening, something urged me to have dinner with an old friend, even though I felt like just staying in my hotel because I was tired.

My Uber and Lyft were not working because I cannot pay with my Dutch cards so I needed to find an alternative mode of transportation.

The friend who I was going to meet told me to take Bus #7 which would take me straight to the Haight.

I walked onto the bus. I had mostly $20’s and about a buck fifty otherwise. Ticket cost was $2.25.

The bus driver smiled at me, and said “Just put in the small change you have and we’ll call it good.”

It felt in this moment that all the little procuring events leading up to this bus ride were intended.

“I appreciate you helping me out, man. I’ll stand up here with you and keep you company.” And so we went in.

I quickly built rapport with him, unintentionally, started speaking similar to the way he was, so we could more effectively communicate.

I asked him questions, simply out of authentic interest, curiosity.

He told me about what it was like growing up in San Francisco, where he lives now, how he has seen the city change over the years.

He has been driving for many years, tried different routes, but came back to the one he is riding now because it’s the one he enjoys most.

We came to a point in the conversation when he expressed that over the years, the people along that route have changed. Even from 2010 until now the change is significant.

“Back in ’10 people were still moving, lively, partying a bit. Now everyone is so still, quiet, mechanical. I don’t know what happened.”

I asked him, “Don’t you ever feel like shaking them up a bit? Disrupt them? Go on the radio and say ‘everyone get off your phones for 1 second and shout out your favorite color!’”

He laughed… “no way, you don’t know if someone out there may get offended and do something unsafe. But yes, I have thought about it! You want the radio to give it a try?”

I also laughed… “haha nope!” But I did take a good hard look at who else was on this bus adventure with me in that moment. I could feel the quiet emptiness, disconnect, lack of vibrancy and energy.

A woman, about my age, had taken out her headphones. She had been watching me and the bus driver communicate with each other.

“I have never witnessed someone talking with a bus driver like that..”

My response: “Like what? We’re just having a human to human conversation!” Concluding with a small chuckle.

The bus driver then asked me what I do. I told him that I like to coach people in living out their passion.

“Okay, but,” he caught my soul through the entry of my eyes “you are really doing so much more than that.”

At that point, I had reached my destination. In a way it was hard to get off. I was moved, physically, mentally, emotionally.

I felt so vibrant and full as I was walking into the restaurant, someone even commented on it as I was passing by.

I felt positivity radiating out of me as if I was a ball of beautiful sunshine and warmth. I felt at my core, “this is me.”

Humans are beautiful and we each see this world through a unique and special lens. Let’s learn from each other, listen to each other, support each other, love each other.

This is me,

This. is. us

Originally published at allisangle.wordpress.com

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