End Street Harassment

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End Street Harassment

Hollaback!

A friend of mine brought this web site to my attention and it needs to be shared.  So often, women (sometimes men) are victimized on the street by men under the cover of anonymity.  This doesn’t necessarily mean that the women are raped or physically contacted.  Strangers commonly shout things at women as they walk in public, make obscene gestures, or even just stare at them.  Contrary though it may seem, this is “socially acceptable”, because they can get away with it without any of their acquaintances ever finding out.  It is normal and tolerated.  Their mom will never know that they cat-called a woman as she walked by, their girlfriend will never know that they took pictures of a stranger all while wearing a suggestive smile, their boss will never know they solicited obscene favors from a woman who was clearly perturbed by the suggestion.  The streets of a major city are perhaps even more anonymous than the internet, in that there are no IP addresses or other cyber crumbs to follow.

No more.

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I never use a shopping cart anymore

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I never use a shopping cart anymore

I guess I'm anti-American.

A lot of my outlook on life changed after my bus streak, but one of the most unexpected aspects was my perceptions of the shopping cart.  When you grocery shop on the bus, you obviously can’t take back as much stuff as you would be able to in your car.  Shopping trips become much more purposeful and minimalist.  Everything I took home had to fit within a couple of canvas shopping bags and had to be light enough for me to carry approximately half a mile to the nearest bus stop without dying or disconnecting my arms.  Shopping carts just had no place in my life.  I assumed, as you might, that once I started using my car again, I would go back to my old ways of stuffing a shopping cart full of unnecessary junk.

Not so.

To this day (about three months after I started using my car again), I’ve only used a shopping cart a couple of times.  The few times I have used it, it has been nearly empty (you could still see the bottom of the cart).  And, when it’s time to go to my car, I empty out the cart in the store lobby before venturing into the parking lot.  I can’t remember the last time I took a shopping cart to my car.

It’s not so much that I forget to grab one or that I’m being defiant about it.  They just feel awkward, now.  Sometimes people look at me weird, carrying all of my stuff in my arms (or in a basket when I’m lucky), but that’s ok.  I save money, while they buy junk that they don’t need.  Thank you, Bus, for teaching me a whole new way to be frugal.  :)

The End of an Era

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The End of an Era

Riding the bus into the sunset. Or maybe away from the sunset. I can't tell.

This post marks the end of my car-less era.  I went exactly 5 weeks — exactly — without stepping foot on the gas pedal, and I can’t handle another day.

I will definitely ride the bus again, but I will certainly not depend solely on it.

Lots has changed, I have learned more than I anticipated, I see life differently, and I saved a butt-load of money.  But, I’m ready to get back to normal life.

I said, “No, no, no.”

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I said, “No, no, no.”

A man walked up to me and began making small chat with me.  He was several years older than me (read: about 20…), so I assumed it was harmless.  Lesson learned, never a good idea to make assumptions.  He eventually began to curb the small chat.

Lonely island creeping out a girl.

No. Please. Don't do the creep.

Do you smoke?  No.

Are you married?  No.

Do you have a boyfriend?  No.

Can I be your boyfriend?  No.

<<sigh>>

Him: Why not?

Me:  I don’t want a boyfriend.

Him: Nah…. You don’t want a BLACK boyfriend.

<<sigh>>

Me: No… I don’t want ANY boyfriend…

Him: Why not?

Me: I value my independence.

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Riddle us a riddle, you’re the bus driver.

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Riddle us a riddle, you’re the bus driver.

Today’s blog comes to you courtesy of the bus driver who drives the route from my apartment to my work.  He found out I taught math, and so, he had a GREAT math riddle to share with me.  He was sure I wouldn’t get it, but I did.  And I thought it was an awesome riddle.  It might even be a good extra credit question to start the kids off on their first day back to school this coming semester.  :)

Can YOU get it?  Put your answer…. below!  I posted the correct answer BELOW the video, so you don’t accidentally see it!

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For some reason, this song is just screaming at me.  :)  

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Hey, little girl…

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Hey, little girl…
Cool lookin' dude reaching for something inside his jacket. Looks like he's saying: Yeah, I got da money.

Hey, little girl... I got what you need...

What would you do if the stranger sitting across from you on the bus suddenly handed you a package and told you to take it?  Today, I chose to engage him to figure out what was going on.  I got nowhere.

I had been riding the bus for almost a half hour sitting across from this guy.  He was missing an eye (not relevant to the story, but perhaps an interesting detail).  We had not exchanged a single word the entire trip.  Then, he suddenly offered me the bag he was holding.  It was a pink, cloth bag with handles, and it had polka dots on it.  Not to be sexist, but it was a strange style of bag for an adult man to be carrying.

Of course, I didn’t take the bag, but my interest had been piqued, “What’s inside?”

“It’s a brand new laptop.”  He said this as if I had asked a silly or obvious question.  I just looked at him blankly.

“What, you don’t believe me?”  Mmm…. no….  So, he opened it up and showed me.  Truth be told, there was, what appeared to be, a brand new laptop.  No power cables, no booklets.  Just the laptop and the dingy, pink bag.

So, at that point, what would you think?  A man has just offered you a brand new laptop.  On the bus.  For no reason.  I think there’s one thought that has crossed everyone’s mind:  “So…. is it yours??”

“Of course it’s mine!  She thinks it’s not mine!  Ha!”  Although he was answering my questions, none of my questions were actually being answered.  “So…. why are you trying to get rid of it?”

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10 Bus stops that make you stop.

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10 Bus stops that make you stop.

The bus and train stops where I live leave much to be desired.  They are boring.  They are uncomfortable.  They are uninspiring.  They are a long way from satisfying.

I went on a high-speed quest to find the world’s 10 most tempting bus stops, and here is what I found.  You can click on each picture to be taken to the source page for a full story of each.  Enjoy!

A bus stop adorned with flowers, vines, and potted plants.  A lady sits inside on a cushioned seat.

Moroccan Bus Stop, Cornwall, U.K. This lady got tired of vandals destroying her bus stop, so she gave it a make-over.

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