LA Bus Stories: Episode 1
I know what brought me to LA last february: curiosity, post-graduation freedom and my amazing cousin’s invitation. But I still don’t know why I’ve decided to move around using nothing else than public transportation. I will never complain about Milan’s services again — where I actually can reach quickly any corner of the city — , but for sure it was way funnier. Cos people watching was, and the idea that Americans build amazing cities without being able to run public services made me laugh. And it all sounds weird to europeans like me, cos the worldwide idea of the average US man is the same of a kid showing you the good toys you don’t have yet. But let’s be clear: I’ve loved my time in the United States.
I could write a book about my LA Bus Stories since my very first ride, but I’ll better divide them in espisodes. So here’s the first one, from Santa Monica to Hollywood. It was february 2016. And it was hot.
Right after reaching the stop — yes, an A4 sized sign is not visible at all — I still remember the awkward afro driver’s quote: “Dude, there’s no ticket here” he said, when I was wondering why the coin machine didn’t eject anything like a paper recepit. “This is a weird planet” I thought, while walking in trying not to fall over the little steps (Safety first, hey) of the moving bus.
So I’ve found a seat and in front of me there a was an asian girl (or a boy, God only knows), staring at me just like a bear stares at honey in cartoons. Tongue wasn’t out, but it was nearly there. Now, I grew up in a country where “extremely friendly” strangers are considered a danger, so I’ve tried to act like nothing, looking like minding my own business. Even cos I know I am no David Beckham: why is she — or he- attracted by me? I actually didn’t really want to know the answer. I was turning my eyes time to time to see if she was still in that plastic position. What did this person want from me? As a foreign solo traveller, you think about anything. Especially when you’ll have to get off the bus: a voice saying “Get ready to be followed, man” was loud in my mind. This are the moments when I love police: they know, and they are playing hard to get, like a hot chick who awares her potential.
So many things running through my head, but after one hour ride through a nice landscape, something happened: nothing. I’ve pulled the wire— yes, you actually pull a cable to request your stop — , I stood up and She (or he) made nothing at all while I got off, just a smile with a bit of disappointment.
Whatever she / he was, was just a person. With thoughts I don’t wanna about, but a person. So I’ve finally started my day, walking towards Hollywood Boulevard.