Experience leaves lasting impression, makes student feel fortunate to have a car
Riders board the bus at the Six Points station. Del Mar College students can ride the bus without paying a fare.
As I am riding the bus, I feel a little bit out of my element. I am taking Route 19 from Ayers to the Staples Street station, which is on Leopard because of construction. At first, I was a little bit nervous to talk to people, but I remember what my professor said, “If you want to be a journalist, you cannot be shy.” So, every time I approached someone, I thought of that.
The first person I interviewed was Humberto. He spoke Spanish, so it was a bit difficult to fully understand him. My mother helped translate my conversation with him. He told us he depends on the bus because if it were not for the bus or his bike, he would not get to where he needs to be. He even rides it to work. He told me he does not have much money. He said he has depended on the bus for the past seven years.
Denise, 47, was the second person I interviewed. She was an extremely friendly person. She told me she did not have a vehicle and that she has to leave her house about 30 minutes to an hour early just to make sure she makes the bus on time. I noticed she had a bag with different shoes and such in it. Since it was raining that day, she told me she has to always be prepared for the different weather conditions. She sometimes fears for her safety on the bus, especially at night, when she is always sure to have her son ride the bus with her.
Lastly, there was Lisa Sanchez, one of the most down-to-earth people I had ever met. She told me she occasionally rides the bus when she does not have extra money for gas. The bus is convenient for her because it picks her up right in front of her house, on Leopard Street, and drops her off right in front of where she works, on Weber and Staples.
After riding the bus, I feel so much more grateful and humble. I see that people have it more difficult than others. I also learned that people depend on the bus more than I thought. Overall, it was a great experience.
Getting out of my comfort zone was worth it
While many people prefer to keep to themselves on the bus, others enjoy meeting new people.
“I really need a car,” a girl says with a laugh, shaking her head. We are on the bus, headed to Wal-Mart in Flour Bluff, and my new friend would love to not be on the bus. She checks her phone before answering my question, “What brings you to the bus today?”
It’s a question that brings many different answers. I was there as a part of an assignment for my newswriting class. The assignment is meant to bring us out of our comfort zones and get us talking to new and interesting people.
She does have a car, but her parents made her leave it home in Austin for her younger brother to drive because her family lives a ways from his school and he needs to start learning to drive on his own. She’s a cute girl, sporting jean shorts and a purple tank top, wavy brown hair and a sweet smile. She’ll be able to get her own ride soon, she hopes.
Another friend, an older gentleman, comments on my nose ring. I thank him and ask him what he’s heading to Wal-Mart for. He’s going to pick up some groceries so he can make lasagna, which is his wife’s favorite dish. “I love cooking for her,” he says. He is very kind, slightly balding, wearing a T-shirt from a little league baseball tournament, some khaki shorts and flip-flops.
Everyone in Corpus seems very friendly and very welcoming. I think I’m going to like it here!