Tuesday, October 27, 2009

City Bus Culture

I was riding the bus yesterday and had an interesting experience.

There is a certain culture on the city bus. Those of you who ride the bus know what I'm referring to. I will explain a little about my perspective on City Bus Culture- because as an enthusiastic person, it was a little hard to get used to. When I get on the bus I say hello to the driver, to be respectful and recognize their responsibility in driving a lot of "personalities" around the city. I then proceed to not look around, except to find a seat, sit down, and mind my own business. I am almost always a racial minority on the bus compared to the rest of the bus population- which is totally cool with me, but something to note. I sometimes read, or just sit there because it is too loud to read. I sometimes pretend to read if a "personality" chooses me to talk to. I have learned that if you are too nice on the bus, you will unwillingly make friends with people you really don't want to be friends with. I happen to ride the bus that goes between Mpls to St. Paul and a lot of interesting people ride this bus.

So, what happened yesterday? I was conducting my scan of seats, toward the back of the bus as it is most efficient to take a seat there first, so those behind me can get a seat too. The only seats were next to men who were obviously taking up two seats and didn't want to share their space, so I turned around to take a seat closer to the front of the bus. I had to excuse myself by a man with luggage to do this. The woman adjacent to him, said (I think to luggage man) "girl don't wanna sit by the niggas" (imagine a little attitude in the inflection.) I was shocked. I've never gotten that type of comment before. I was immediately angered and that fueled a comeback from me. I looked directly at her and said "that is NOT the reason I'm not sitting back there, I would have to sit waaay to close to someone, there's no room." Then I turned around, and fumed. She replied "I don't wanna sit by the niggas neither." I just minded my business after that.

This was interesting for me though. As a really white person who is middle class I usually don't experience things like this. I won't know what her motivation was for saying that, it doesn't really matter. What I didn't want was anyone perceiving me as racist. It is really important to me that I do my part against racism, I think that's why I reacted so strongly. Was it a good thing for me to react like that? Does my "bus cred" matter? I'm not sure.

H1N1 Probably?

I was away from my blog for too long! I have an excuse though. I (probably) had H1N1 and barely could push the buttons on the remote let alone think and type. I now wish that I blogged through the whole experience to let those of you who aren't going to get it know what it is like "on the inside."

I'll sum it up here. Ever had the upper respiratory flu? It was like that. Only more congestion in the lungs than usual.

I'm hoping that I have some sweet immunity to this junk now. Who knows if getting something really helps your body fight it in the future. Hopefully! One thing I don't suggest is going to a Swine Flu Party. They are these really REALLY STUPID parties where sick people (with H1N1) get together to get each other sick, to build immunity. WOW. I guess there are moments when I am aghast by the things people do, this is one of those moments.

So, please wash your hands, don't touch your face and be healthy this fall. If you do get it, take care and watch your body. Make sure to have the most up to date information.

Here are my fav websites for up to date H1N1 info:
World Health Organization
Center for Disease Control