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Grateful

sunrise
We’re in daylight savings now, so I get to see the sun rise at a stop. Usually I’m in transit. Still fairly dark when I leave home though. It was only after I saved the photo to my pc that I noticed the rainbow… faint, but it’s there. I have no idea if it was really there or if it was caused somehow by my camera. I like it though.

So much to be grateful for today. Tat had a much better paper-chase experience today – more thanks go out to strangers reaching out. On that note, if you ever want to show random kindness towards a stranger, just know that it is never wasted. It can make all the difference!

My bus disappeared into the early morning semi-dark, so I settled into a stroll thinking I had at least 20 minutes to wait for the next one. Just then, the next bus came. Either the previous one was very late or this one was very early. I flagged the bus from a good distance away. The driver saw me, pulled up at the opposite corner and waited!! What and angel. And… the bus had scads of seating!

Cute… just passed a bridal dressmaking shop – a tortoiseshell and white cat is in the window watching the passing traffic.

There was a girl reading a book (translated) on the metro – Christiane F. – a book about a 14 year old girl who was caught up in a life of drugs and prostitution (true story). It came as recommended reading and viewing – there’s a movie too – when I was a teen. I can’t think of a more depressing book to start a day with.

The Christiane book girl has nodded off and is falling over onto the woman next to her. On the other side sits a girl trying very hard to look like she isn’t crying. I hope her day gets better.

~                          ~                           ~

At the bank building, outside, there is a beautiful old tree with branches that go on forever. Under it was a group of youngsters, their backpacks up against the wall. They were having a really good time. A cloud of smoke hovered over them as they puffed away on the bong. One played guitar off to the side. A few were passing around bottles of booze. The security looked uncomfortable, but did nothing about it. My student and I discussed conspiracy theories and voting (not too much difference between the two).

Afterwards, I went to the shopping centre near my next student. It’s already done up for Christmas!! And the Christmas shops are open! I wandered around there for about half an hour only to be called… my student cancelled… again. She thought changing her times back to her old times would help with cancellations. Uh huh. It helped, all right. So I mooched off home. My evening student has changed his time for Saturday morning. There go the weekends.

C’est la vie… and another week ends…

 

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Posted by on October 29, 2010 in life, people, transport

 

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Accidental flying

I take three buses to my first student. Every now and again, the bus drivers run an intensive testing period to see if the passengers are awake.

In short… I hurt… all over.

I was tucked into the window seat just in front of the conductor. The driver had filled up with kangaroo juice and was testing his brakes and steering system to the limit. In peak hour traffic, that takes some doing.

I reached into my bag to get my bus card out just as the driver grew wings to take the last S-bend before my stop.

Now I’m not gravity-challenged and I’m definitely no feather-weight. It takes a lot to part me with gravity. When I sit, I’m firmly planted. Not this time. As he took the corner, I sailed across, out of my seat, across the neighbouring seat, and into the aisle, landing in a heap on the opposite side of the the bus against the other seats. Gravity remembered me… with a vengeance! As I said, I hurt *hobbles off into the sunset… make that ‘sunrise’*

fall
This picture makes me very, very grateful that I wear pants to work!

Great way to start the day!

I tend to stop and talk to the animals along my way and passing dog walkers are easy game. One dog came up to sniff and I patted him and chatted to him. His owner launched into an account of how she’s going to complain about the bank she was just at because they wouldn’t let her dog (slightly bigger than a fox terrier) in even though he’s her ‘bengala’. Now ‘bengala’ is a walking stick. How on earth can a dog on a soft leather leash be a walking stick for someone, who, incidentally, was walking just fine. I suggested, hesitantly, that perhaps if she carried a document saying he is exempt from the usual rules banning animals in banks, she may avoid problems in future. Apparently she has a document and they refused to acknowledge it. Now I’m an ardent defender of the sick, the lame and the helpless, but I couldn’t help thinking this time that I wasn’t very surprised that they raised an eyebrow at her claim.

Eh…. what a week it’s been. I’m glad tomorrow is Friday. I’ll go in, teach, then pay the rent and get my butt home to unwind.

 

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Posted by on August 20, 2010 in life, people, transport

 

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Adventure in transit

clubbing
What will I do for blog fodder the day I become ‘normal’ and get a car?

I was surprised and "Omg! How exciting!" pleased when I scored a seat on the bus this morning – right alongside the driver. It’s reserved-for-old-fogies seating, but at 6am, they’re not in transit anywhere. Turns out, that’s where all the action is. There I was, minding my own business, watching street and car lights going by (I couldn’t read, as the driver had the lights off) to the tune of some mellow Enya.

I got myself free entertainment. The bus had stopped. A lanky youth ran up and looked inside. It seemed that he decided it was the wrong bus. He walked along the curb and banged on the bus where the bus conductor sat. I figured it was just a ‘greeting’. They often do that if they know the driver or conductor and it’s usually followed by animated chatting and laughing. But… In a split second, the conductor and driver were both out of their seats and pounding down the road after the guy, brandishing 2 foot long, thick sticks. This was a true blue, "What the heck?!" moment. The chase carried itself across 6 lanes and ended as the guy rounded a corner.

The driver and conductor swaggered back to the bus with a "we got him good" attitude. Back on the bus, they talked and laughed between themselves after stowing their sticks. Unfortunately, they spoke in the incomprehensible North Eastern accent, so I remained clueless. One thing was sure, they were prepared. This was no random event.

I then switched over to the metro, which went calmer, though not without its own interest. We’d gone a couple of stops when everyone was ordered off the metro. I had my earphones in, so I missed the announcement. It seems to be my day for being clueless. We all crowded sheeplike into the next metro and went on our merry way.

I met my student who flapped a little at the ‘dangers of public transport’, only to be caught up by his own words when sirens bore down on us. There was a convoy of police cars and a van transporting criminals. The ‘brownies’ (that’s what the traffic guys are called here due to their brown uniforms) shooed us out of the way. What on earth possessed them to think that transporting criminals through São Paulo’s peak hour traffic was a good idea?? Apparently they ‘avoid’ traffic jams because of the risk of being blocked off deliberately (pre-organised), thus allowing the prisoners to escape.

   ~ ~ ~

Does anyone else also find their heart stopping when an ambulance passes by? I find myself hurting for the drama those people are facing.

What makes a pubescent kid go a few metres out of his way to kick a pigeon? Does it give him an otherwise missing sense of power?

I’m now off to bed. It was an exhausting day. Tomorrow will be even longer. I leave home at 6am and return at 6pm. In that time, I will take 7 buses in total and a metro. What adventures await, I wonder? My afternoon will end with 3 teen boys whom I’ve been warned will try to take advantage. Great. What an exciting prospect!

 

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Posted by on August 5, 2010 in people, transport

 

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