(I knew it was a sit-down protest, I did not know why. Huh. ;)
The ride home today took about half an hour longer than it should have. Why, you ask? Well, about halfway down the mountain, the bus broke down. The bus was already crowded *way* past capacity, as it's the week after labour day, and it always is.
The driver pulled over and we all looked at each other in confusion for a moment before he came on the loudspeaker and told us the engine was running too hot and so the computer had shut it off. Oh, hurrah. The wonders of modern technology. He told us we had to sit there a moment and see if it would cool down.
We sat there a little under fifteen minutes, ventilation dead like the engine. windows closed because up on the mountain it had been cloudy and breezy, the interior temperature of the bus rapidly approaching levels that probably seemed much higher than they actually were, but hey, two hundred people... but no space in which to remove jackets. It did not cool down.
Then we sat there another five or six minutes until another 145 came along, and pulled over. Our entire bus proceeded to disembark, dash down the hill, and cram ourselves into the other bus, which had been as crowded as ours had been. As a result, we spent the rest of the trip down the mountain running at something like two hundred eighty percent capacity. Uck.
The only way to remain upright on a crowded bus (read: standing room only) is to learn to keep your balance. This is a skill sort of like surfing. You plant your feet and ride out the centrifugal shifts. If you get to be really good at it, say, ride transit your whole life, you don't even need to hold on.
On a bus carrying almost three hundred percent its recommended capacity of humans, where you have approximately one foot square of floor space, there is nowhere to put your feet. Saying something, as my normal stance probably doesn't cover more than a foot and a half most of the time. You never know how much that half-foot means until you don't have it.
So there I was, clinging onto the pole for dear life with my left hand while I held my backpack in front of me by one strap with my right. And let me tell you, it fills me with a great sense of security and safety to look up and see that the pole currently supporting approximately eighty-five percent of my total weight is apparently secured to the ceiling of the bus by nothing more complicated than the cunning application of duct tape. I kid you not, duct tape. Yes, Translink is on the way up.
Okay. I am tired and my head hurts and I want tea. And to watch Gilmore Girls and eat chocolate. And tomorrow I will buy textbooks, and hunt down cheapass software for Dad, and then this weekend I will read the textbooks, beta Mum's paper, and trawl the work-study postings. And Monday I will go in early to apply for things. Yes.
Ooh! I may have been approved for an Envirofund Visa. More on that later.