Just some random commuting stories if you’re bored. They’re all true and happened to me at my time at UBC.
- I Pushed a Bus Up a Hill!
- I was lucky. I had finished my exams the day before afternoon exams were cancelled due to the weather (although really, it would have been better to cancel the exams earlier that morning, as by 2 pm the snow had turned to slush and traffic was more bearable). Unluckily, however, I had left my sweater in the exam room and had decided to go back to UBC the next day to retrieve it, because unlike high school, who knows where you can find the lost-and-found stash around campus.
- At the time it didn’t seem like such a dumb idea. I mean, again, I had just finished my exams, and I was basking in the high of, “I can do whateeeeever I want now that I don’t have anything to study for or any assignments to complete, and this includes taking long bus rides just for the sake of it!” (In my defence, there’s a difference between having to do things and doing them out of your own volition.) I didn’t think the snow would get too bad, since when I had looked out the window before leaving the house, most of the snow had vanished by the time it hit the road.
- This changed halfway though my commute, which too much longer than expected. By the time the bus reached Sasamat, we were stuck. We had to all file out and resorted to pushing the bus while the driver slammed on that accelerator. I pushed for a bit, but there was only so much room for people to crowd around in the back, and I was worried I was taking up valuable space from one of the better muscled passengers. (For all of you who pushed the bus: “Thank you, and I’m sorry I wasn’t as strong as you!!!”) We finally got the bus moving after a few minutes, but the driver had to stop so we could all pile back on, and by then, inertia was against us and we were stuck for good.
- I trekked the better part of the day through slush, toes frozen and teeth chattering, and when I finally arrived at the building my sweater was in, I had to wait outside, sopping wet like one of those abandoned pets you see in movies, shivering pitifully outside on the doorstep, because there was another exam going on that wouldn’t be done for another hour.
- When I Almost Got Arrested on the Bus…
- This was back in my first year when we had bus passes instead of Compass Cards. I was busing home after another demoralizing day and had yet to study for my chemistry midterm when the cops decided to hop on and, of all days and of all buses, check if everyone had their bus fare.
- Now, I usually carried by bus pass with me, but when this massive officer towered over me asking if I could show some proof of payment, I realized with a sinking feeling as I rummaged through my backpack that I had forgotten my bus pass at home, maybe in my other pants or something. (Of all days, of all buses!) I was escorted off the bus, and the officer gave me “one last time to look” (he gave me three), and I kept patting my pockets and zipping and unzipping the different compartments of my backpack, wondering how much I would be fined because of my oversight and how would I ever be able to tell my parents that I had lost that much in a day and why why why did this have to happen to me when I just needed to get home to study for my blasted midterm (!!!).
- I think it was obvious that I was a university student (and thus owned a bus pass) because as I spilled the contents of my backpack before the officer, my Chem 121 Lab Notebook was out there in the open for everyone to see. But surprisingly to me, the officer was very nice, maybe because as I started to tell him that I couldn’t find my bus pass, my voice became quieter and quieter and more than a little shaky. (I’m a good kid, okay!) But I don’t think he wanted to get anyone in trouble. He finally offered me a ticket that I could use to get on the next bus (“Just this once, but make sure you pay for your fare next time”), and that was the last I saw of him.
- Moral of the story: don’t be a bum–pay for your ticket or carry your Compass Card!
If you’re looking for stories that are (admittedly) more engaging than this to read over the break, I recommend:
- “Fox 8” by George Saunders
- “Horror Story” by Carmen Maria Machado
- “A State of Variance” by Aimee Bender
Happy holidays, everyone! 🙂
P.S. For those of you who completed your exams that snow day, you’re the real champs! And for those of you who had your exams cancelled, I know it sucks (it’s happened to me too), but I’m rooting for you!