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Monday, October 20, 2014

Stroller vs. Scooter - who wins?

Friday I took my regular GO bus home and then transferred to another bus to do some shopping. To protect the driver, who was innocent in the drama that unfolded, I am not disclosing the route.

At the transfer point, this woman boarded the bus - a double decker - with a large, all-terrain type stroller. She did not ask, but demanded that the three people who were sitting in the accessibility-area jump seat, immediately across from the staircase, vacate the area so she could park the stroller.

Her stroller was similar to this model:



It was huge. Even with it parked in the accessibility area, it took up a lot of room.

I realize she's entitled to her space as a customer on public transit. For the record, I traveled with my daughter on public transit, but I used a folding type stroller. It was nowhere near as large as her stroller and it was compact. I had a Graco snugrider which was a stroller base and the car seat (infant, too) would snap into it. It folded flat and the car seat could be put on a bus seat, carried, or put on the floor (which I don't recommend).

We weren't even on the bus for more than five minutes before we came to a stop where a man in an accessibility scooter, similar to this model, was waiting:

The driver told the woman she would have to collapse her stroller so the man could board. She refused. The man was unable to get his scooter past her stroller and if he stayed on the bus, no would be able to exit the bus.

This woman refused to move or be accommodating. She reminded the driver she was on-board first and a paying customer. The driver told her, by law, he was not allowed to refuse service to the man. He also said he could lose his job.

She said, and I swear on every Bible, "He can take another bus."

This is where I decided to step in. Like everyone else on the bus, I had some place to be and this woman needed to get off.

Before I got a chance to tell this woman how disgusting she was, the man told the bus driver he would wait for another bus and that he wasn't going to complain. "No one is going to lose their job," he said while backing out and off the bus.

The driver looked upset. The woman was triumphant. Her phone rang and she answered, a wonderful opportunity for her to evade the situation. I decided to get off and wait for another bus with the man.

The whole situation was upsetting. At one point, in her exchange with another passenger who told her to get off, she claimed that having a stroller was a disability and she had a right to expect a bus to be accessible for her and her child.

I know. Go ahead and roll your eyes.

Being a parent is not a disability. Sorry. But being an asshole sure is.

Conversations with a GO bus driver

Every day last week and this morning, my route GO bus driver, due to arrive at my stop at 6:43 am, has been late. The lastest being last Thursday when he arrived at 6:57 am.

This morning, I checked the GO mobile app to make sure my route hasn't had a time change, since the bus was late, again. The arrival time was still 6:43 am. The bus showed up at 6:53 am.

This is irritating. If this driver runs 10 minutes behind, then I'll run 10 minutes behind. You know what I can do with 10 extra minutes? Have breakfast. At home. 

When I boarded, I politely inquired if there had been a route time change. His answer? A terse "nope". I asked if the bus is supposed to be at this stop by 6:43 am? I got a terse, "Yep". I then asked, "Are you late because of volume?" He said, "Nope".

I stood there for a second, waiting, you know, for an answer, maybe an apology? Nothing.

So I said loudly, for the whole bus to hear, "Okay, well tomorrow, I'll make sure I'm at the stop at 6:50 then." And I sat down.

I'm a paying customer. I think it's fair to expect answer.

A transit vehicle that tells it like it is

Friday, October 17, 2014

That awkward moment when a stranger realizes you can't afford a phone case



Or it's to protect it from the rain?

I put my phone in a ziplock bag when I'm out riding or walking in bad weather. A lot of my workout gear doesn't have pockets.

Don't worry. I got this - Chilean bus driver

Look at this fare jumper. Tsk.

TIL: Some Durham area college/uni students allegedly do a lot of drugs

I forgot my headphones twice this week which means I've been subjected to listening in on conversations on the GO bus ride home.

Some east Durham area youth apparently do a lot of drugs and we're not talking hidden in a shoebox Mary Janes. Here's what I learned:
  • Cocaine breaks up a lot of BFFs.  Justin and Mike were tight until Justin started dealing and Mike was upset because Justin refused to cut him into any deals.
  • Kristen and Grace don't talk anymore since Grace got real stoned and pissed off the edge of an Oshawa parking garage and threw her panties in Kristen's face.
  • Melanie did so much meth she supposedly cooked Lyndsay's hamster by accident in the oven but it could have been a shoe - she and her friend were too high to remember.
  • The last time Mike saw Justin he was making crack in his aunt's barn in Hampton.
  • Sam got fired from Mickey Dee's after he showed up high to a Saturday night shift and put a bag of plastic spoons in the deep fryer.
I stared out the window a lot while listening to all this drug chatter because I felt awkward and didn't want to make eye contact with any of these people.  What amazed me was the fact that no one cared to be discreet. In fact, it came across like they were proud of these stories.

I'm only 40. I like to think I am far from old-fashioned. My teenage/college stories don't involve any recreational/hard drug stories except for one. I went to a bush party in Collingwood when I was 19. I willingly ate a cookie that had been handed to me. Next thing I knew, I was on a flat-bed wagon being pulled by a tractor, flat on my back, finding it difficult to move. The stars looked like fireworks. I was convinced my eyes were being burned. It wasn't pleasant. I was scared.

Later I learned the cookies had been laced with LSD. My friends thought it was hysterical. I played along although truthfully I was upset.

It's a story I've never thought to freely brag about on public transit. Of course, I realize I am sharing it here...

The only story I was privileged to listen to that I thought was worthy of public consumption was the second story involving Grace and Kristen. Grace not only threw her panties at Kristen but she also threw the car keys belonging to the car Kristen had borrowed from her mother down a sewer grate. Kristen figured it would be a bright idea to call 911. Did I mention both these girls admitted to being drunk and high that night?

Kristen's friend rattled on some more during the bus ride telling us all there were apparently a bunch of charges laid and Kristen was sent to her uncle's Coburg farm for an entire summer to perform hard labour to pay the fines after the court case. The horror of being forced to get up every morning at 4:30 am has traumatized her for life apparently.

See? A happy ending.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Life lately


What?

So he forgot how to hamster. I feel I've forgotten how to exercise.

It's been nine weeks of pure laziness. There's been the odd bike ride here and there but I've lost my way.

This weekend was a disaster.

I've gained, but I don't know how much. I locked the scale in the shed.

I am determined to get back on track.