The bus that takes people from Kirkland to Downtown Seattle is an interesting one to say the least.  Now, of course, most buses are interesting modes of transportation that generally give the rider a sense of accomplishment because it truly is survival of the fittest.  Bus 255 is no exception.  Granted, the people are on average about 40 years old, well dressed, well mannered, respectful but I have seen my share of interesting things.  The same people ride this bus line day after day after day.  The people I see at 7 AM are not the same people I see at 5 pm.  The 7 AM crowd is not as odd as the 5 pm crowd.

This bus does not carry many children.  Ever.  It is a rarity indeed to see anyone under the age of 20 years old.  We also never see animals on this bus.  We don’t take our animals to work and we don’t take them home.  We believe animals belong in a house/the yard/the occasional sidewalk but never, never, never the bus.  Buses are for the poor and the environmentally aware-not animals.

The “Poor” on my bus are married men and single women.  The “Environmentally Aware” is everyone else.  I believe married men do not ride this bus to be more efficient or to multi-task (like me).  They ride it because their wives require more of the money and the bus is an excellent way to save the poor man some money.  The single woman might mistakenly believe riding the bus will get her more access to men but single men do not ride the bus.  They are independent and don’t need to save money this way.  They save money other ways but not this way.

The older women sit in front.  They expect to sit in front and they will look down on you if they have to go to the (gasp!) third row.  Men like to stand on this bus. Many men are very considerate and kind on this bus.  They will offer their seats to standing women.  Now, this is not always true.  For I have stood many many times on this bus that gets crowded a lot.

We say “Thank you” when we exit the bus.

We talk quietly.

We listen to our iPods.

The majority of people on this bus have an iPhone or a Blackberry.  I have the only old Sprint phone.  I have never seen anyone with my phone which is a good indicator it’s time to get a new one!  (You’d think with all this money I am saving by taking the bus I could afford a new phone but alas, I like to spend money on other things, like food and taking my nieces to the Aquarium).

There is one Asian woman who sits in the aisle seat and she will not move over.  She NEVER sits by the window and if you want that seat, she will get up and let you sit by the window but do not think she will move over. One of these days I am going to ask her what the freaking heck is wrong with the window seat.

We carry wet umbrellas.  This is not a fact exclusive to bus #255 because, duh, we all are in the Seattle region which means, it rains on all buses alike, the good and the bad.  We give grace when someone’s wet umbrella touches our dry pants.

We take trips.  I sat by a man reading a travel book about Kuaui.  One of the Hawaiian islands.  I think that was the name.  He told me how he was going there for 8 days with his wife the next day.  He told me all about Kuaui but since it was 7 AM, I don’t remember anything he said.

We don’t smile.  The people on my bus are not morning people.  We are not happy to be on crowded buses- ever.  We are also not night people because we don’t smile at 5 PM either.  I try to smile and look pleasant at these people but they just stare at me.  And since I don’t like getting stared at, I stopped smiling.  Thus, WE DON’T SMILE.

We are survivors. Once, while we were flying over the 520 bridge at 5 PM, something happened I shall never forget.  It was crowded that day. I was pressed into some guy’s armpit, trying not to touch his butt but also trying to stay standing in the aisle with all my bags and junk.  I was tired.  I did not want to be on that stinky, sweaty bus.  We were not smiling.  Then, you could hear some commotion in the back but since it was a crowded hot day, I ignored it.  I looked over and out the window and there was a car with it’s window rolled down driving along side the bus, with the driver pointing at us. Hmmm.  Odd duck, I thought.  Then people in the bus started yelling, “Stop!  Stop the bus!”.  Well, after yelling that to no avail, they got smart and started yelling what was going on, “FIRE!!!! There is a fire!!!!”  So, of course, the driver, wanting to save his precious people from tragedy, pulled over to the side of the freeway just after the bridge.  You could smell the smoke and we all started slowly shuffling, trying not to panic, out of the bus.  I, of course, not wanting to miss a great opportunity to Twitter, pulled out my phone and wrote, “My bus is on fire!!!” My hands were shaking as I tried to text and run up the side of the hill.  Sure enough, there was a fire underneath the bus with smoke coming out the windows.  Within 2 minutes, another #255 pulled up and we all went running to get a seat on it.  Of course, those who were standing on the last bus, like me, were running the fastest and thanking God that they no longer had to stand with their heads pressed into some guy’s arm pit (mild exaggeration).

We read books.  Men and Women. We are a highly intelligent group of people.  I have seen people reading “Julie and Julia”, some of the Dan Brown books, books about computers, books about Hawaii, “The Case for Christ” by Lee Strobel, The Bible, and a variety of books that are so worthless I am not going to even tell you we read them because I want you to believe we read highly intelligent material.

So, that’s my bus. I am sparing you other details but you get the picture.

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