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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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A sequence of events

butterfly-JurgisLasevicius
Photo taken by Jurgis. The butterfly landed on the soap bubbles as he was doing the dishes. He fished her out and she hung around a while. He then took photos before releasing her into the great outdoors.
I woke up completely and quickly. That, in itself, was unusual. I’m notoriously slow to surface. My first thought was… surely it’s 4:30 already? I checked my cell phone, which doubles as an alarm clock – 4:37! I hadn’t set the alarm! Strike one. Without an alarm, I’m usually incapable of surfacing on time.

I put the kettle on and turned on the pc. Ack! My internet wouldn’t connect. An overwhelmingly sickly smell drew me to the kitchen. The gas had run out (the gas stinks just as the bin empties for some reason) – coffee would be delayed. I shook Jurgis awake. Luckily, he’d asked me to wake him early. He tackled the gas (we keep a spare bin) and internet while I got ready. With coffee and toast going down well, the morning was saved.

The first bus that came along was an inter-municipal (the elusive Santana bus, Tat! *poke*) The smiling lady sharing my stop got on, so I asked the driver if it went my way. Yep, it did. What a ride! Everyone was smiling!  I wish I could take this bus every day. It takes a grand tour of the city. The route was different and thus interesting. I wished I had a camera with me.

Because I took a bus instead of the usual metro, I ended up on the other end of Parque do Juventude, a large, concrete and wannabe-grass walking area. It has some funky buildings. I walked past the building and wadya know…. a library! An honest-to-goodness fancy-schmancy library here in São Paulo!! Sadly, it was only opening later, so I couldn’t go in. Not sure when I’ll get the chance to see it, as it’s far from home and my ours are a little crazy.

I walked over to where my student usually meets me. I had nearly reached my spot when a scruffy man walked past. I think he was homeless, but who knows. What was special about him? The big red nose he was sporting! When he caught someone staring, he’d grin. He was  having a ball. He left many laughs and smiles in his wake.

I spent the rest of my time there being entertained by an impish (he looked like a little imp) hopelessly drunk man who was dancing and clowning around with a huge grin on his face. He was having a ball!

What was that they say about "Smile and the world smiles with you"? Today, the world seemed to be smiling. It was good : )  I felt as though a load had been taken off my shoulders.

And back to the ordinary world…

Romany was caught grinning in his sleep.

romany goof 1
The flash woke him up. He stuck his tongue out…. kinda mid-lick, but too lazy to pull it off properly.

romany goof 2
The sun was obviously too good and he dozed right off again.

romany goof 3

 
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Posted by on July 7, 2010 in dogs, feel good, life, people

 

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