September 1 was a hot day in Corpus Christi and the start of an interesting day on the bus. Bringing my cousin along for the ride, we embarked on the B bus at the Carroll Tiger/Weber stop. As we entered the bus it was not surprising that my Del Mar ID was nowhere to be found, so instead of riding for free I paid my due and it was on to the crowded bus.
Enjoying the cool breeze provided by the a/c and work being just three hours away, there was no time to waste. After scanning the area, the first person that caught my attention was a young man about my age and just a few inches shorter than me. Stretching the truth a bit, the conversation began with “you look familiar.”
Actually, this person had never been closer to me than he was at that moment. His name was Chris Moreno a 22-year-old graduate from Ray High School currently working two jobs. He was an older brother of three siblings and lived at home with his mom, sister and two brothers.
As our conversation progressed, he showed a huge interest in racing and playing basketball. Jokingly, my cousin told him “good luck racing on the B” and he laughed and told us he was saving up for a new car. After putting in 40 hours at Wal-Mart he needed to work about 30 more at Ci Ci’s Pizza to achieve his dream ride – a 2013 Ford Mustang. Not to mention the cash needed for the thirty-one miles, at the least, per gallon and no more bus stops in the near future.
The joke, though, stopped when I said my dream car was also a 2013 Ford Mustang. After telling him that Del Mar College was my school and the source of my assignment, Chris shockingly informed me that he had no interest in going to school and said he just wanted to focus on working and saving up money.
Fortunately, school was in his future – just not at the moment. After telling him about education and sounding like a parent, he told us he would consider next semester, and all we can hope is that he does come to school in the spring.
It was time to say “goodbye” as Chris got off the bus to his next destination as he departed to make the money he loved to earn. Riding the B may not seem like the cool way to ride, but you never know who you will meet, the gas you can save, and most of all, the friends you could make.
Audra Rodriguez / Staff writer
While waiting for the bus to get to the stop, there is one thing exceptionally true: tt sucks to wait on a bench made of metal where the sun is directly hitting. In no way shape or form does it make for a comfortable place to wait. One might wonder why riding the bus might be a scary feeling to some. As a female, many thoughts are similar to those encountered on this adventure.
At a bus stop one block away from my home, anxiously looking around in hopes to get it over with, it finally arrived. One gulp, and on to the bus I went. Being greeted with a kind face put things a little more at ease. Where to sit? Where can the most interaction be had? Most do sit in the back, from the assumption that older people closer to the front makes for easier access. The best place would be right in the middle. Luckily, there were already two middle-aged women on the bus. At first glance one might get the usual stares, but after a little observance a conversation soon sparked. What better way to start a conversation than with what girls love best: bags and purses? Both ladies had short dark hair, comfortable walking shoes and casual shirts. It turned out that these ladies were sisters and from nearby apartments. The question, “do you always ride the bus?” probably came out a little too bluntly, but I quickly informed them of my assignment. Eager to help, they had so much to say. They said they rode the bus everywhere when needing to go somewhere, but they would never ride the bus alone. The main reason was the fear of feeling and being vulnerable. One lady, Dolores, said “It’s not that bad things happen all the time on the bus, but since we do ride it practically every day, there is a greater chance for something to happen.” In particular, when Dolores and her sister, Ann, go out shopping and have a lot of bags on them. Dolores, the more talkative one, started talking about when they first started riding a year ago. She had just lost her husband and had to down size her style of living. Ann said the worst thing about riding the bus was when you have someone get on and then they start arguing with themselves. The bus quickly came to their destination and they were off.
All that kept popping up in my mind was “I hope I don’t get one of those on here.” Shortly afterwards, there were two younger women getting on around their twenties. One woman had two kids – one an infant and the other a toddler. The other woman had three kids all seemingly in elementary. Both women had a “don’t-look-at-me-or-talk-to-me” expression written on their face. Getting closer down town there were several men that got on and sat on the back of the bus. All three guys were covered in tattoos talking about how crazy their Friday night was. At this point the comfort zone for me had left. This was the end of my ride. In a whole I can honestly say, the people you encounter on the bus are your everyday people that you see at the grocery store , in the mall, at fast food places, and people just trying to get from A to B.