Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Charley on the MTA

I rode the bus today, for the first time. A city bus that is. We promised our mother we wouldn't--at least the kids and my wife--which presumably included me as well. The Gemara on that Mishnah is that we don't apply that restriction to inter-city travel. The central bus station seems well secured, it's fast and cheap and we feel a safe and practical mode of transportation. We avoided renting a car; the trains get poor reviews for speed, so the bus seems the best bet. But in the city felt scarier. On this bus security types came on at some point downtown; with German shepherds to boot. I'm not used to feeling joy at the sight of a big dog but in this case I liked it. We live right on a bus line, and I took a nice tour of the city, literally going at least half way around it, from our part of southern Jerusalem, past the King David Hotel, up Jaffo St, then all the way up into the hilly outskirts. Why? Because I wussed out and didn't ask the bus driver where I should get off, and the little the taciturn man provided I didn't fully make out. But I eventually found my destination. People looked thoroughly buslike--staring out the window, talking, sleeping, the normal range of what people express on buses. Amazing: the human ability to compartmentalize/forget/rationalize call it whatever you want. Wonder if that'll happen to me.

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