I was riding the 14 yesterday night and although I always try to get on the 49, I really just hop on whichever one is coming.
I never, and I mean never, look people in the eye and avoid conversation on the bus at all costs. I grew up in Mexico City, and started using public transportation at a very early age. Riding in a subway train, or a pecero (which resembles the disappeared San Francisco jitney) means you are in-the-know on everyone’s conversation because of the lack of “personal space” — as Americans like to call it.
This is not to say I don’t keep an eye out for all the weirdos out there, and definitely people-watch quietly. When I hopped on the 14, I spotted a seat that seemed tiny but I squeezed myself in between two people. The girl sitting next to me asked me if I wanted to fill out her quiz. And, I didn’t think twice about it being weird so I did.
Naudine Queen is about to graduate from the University of San Francisco. She is about to finish her communications major and was quizzing people as part of her thesis project for graduation. She has quizzed 80 people so far, all anonymously and only to see how a paragraph can influence the way you think about a certain topic.
“Most people are pretty awesome, except for the Starbucks on Market and 9th,” she said. I imagine these people are too busy being influenced by their phones. But, then again, there I was on the 14 bus talking to a fellow Mission resident.
Happy graduation, Naudia!