Growing up in San Francisco is way different than Arizona. In Arizona, we don’t do buses. We have them, but we don’t do buses. If you were on the bus, we made fun of you, guessed how much money you had, and whether you had a car or not. Arizona is just too hot, dry, and stretched apart to have a desirable bus system. So, I had never ridden the bus before moving to San Francisco. So, when I went to a dollar book sale in the mission, I accidentally ended up in Daly City instead of back to USF’s campus.
The Friends of the San Francisco Public Library used to hold a dollar book sale every second Saturday of the month, and as a bookworm, and an aspiring library owner in my future house, I had to go and see what gems I find. I was still a freshman living in the dorms and had not yet done much mingling with the city yet, but I still had to go. I had to go.
So, I woke up early the second Saturday of chilly November and embarked on a journey (much longer than it should have been) to the book sale in the Mission area. I knew the five enough to get down to downtown where I was supposed to switch buses. I had no sense of directions, knowledge of streets, or anything. That’s because I am the youngest of five and I lived in hot Arizona so I always had a ride whether it was my parents or one of my four siblings. And, when I ride in the car I listen to music and space out staring out of the window. I don’t pay attention to streets.
So, when the map told me I should have got on the fourty-nine on Van Ness and McAllister I ended up on Van Ness and Leavenworth, then instead of turning right like the map said (which is completely useless if you look wrong or do not understand directions or streets) I turned left and ended up in the Tenderloin. True story. It reeked of piss, feces, sweat, burnt hair, and hot skin. Luckily the sun was out and being my security. I ended up asking two elderly women in aprons selling flowers how to get to the Mission. They pointed their fingers to the right. I ended up quickly trekking out of the Tenderloin and I found the bus stop.
I got on the cluttered bus and I scorned myself for not being a morning person and not getting up before the book sale opened, because time was running out for the hours of the book sale. Then, I made it with thirty minutes to spare before closing.
I ended up buying twenty-three books from authors like: Freud, Shakespeare, Twain, Walker, Fitzgerald, and more. I stuffed the books into my green USF bag and then I tried to find the bus home. I walked blocks and did not see a bus stop. I ended up by a burger king and I saw the bus I took down there. However, the further the bus got, the familiar places that blew by outside the windows on the trip there were not painted outside the windows on the way home. The bus got more crowded and my eyes yearned for familiarity, for something to show me I was in the right direction. I grabbed my heavy bag of books and got off the bus, in DALY CITY. I ended up in another city. I was so uneducated on buses. I did not know they made turns, I did not know they changed streets. I was so clueless. And my cluelessness caused me to end up in DALY CITY. However, I crossed the street and got on the bus and ended up back at Van Ness and got on the five and lugged my books up to my dorm on the sixth floor and collapsed on the bed. I got Moovit after that and it has been a great guide through the city.
But I learned, you have to get lost a few times before you find yourself. I also learned, that would be the first bus story of many.
Do you have any crazy public transportation stories, or moments where you were lost, literally or any other ‘ly ha. Comment it all below! And subscribe here! Goodnight, readers!