Don’t lose faith in people – 733 Transit Unlimited (a re-post from @MixStirShake)

Below is a post written by the great and wonderful @MixStirShake that I have been lax in re-posting.  It is one of my most fond memories of her trip to Los Angeles for my birthday last year, which, for those who don’t know me personally, was a surprise.  The day she arrived I was in a rather sour mood after having run around all of DTLA for hours trying to get work done when I got a call about a birthday lunch.  “Fine, I’ll go, but I’m tired and I might smell a little, because I was running to catch people before they left their offices.”  When I walked into Wokcano, which seems to be our standard birthday lunch spot these days, I saw my roommate and another friend when I was expecting only coworkers.  Though confused, I let it go.  A few minutes later there was a small ruckus and my roommate had pulled out a little video camera.  The first few seconds on that camera you can see me look at her briefly, put my hand in front of the lens and ask “why did you bring that?”  A few seconds later @MixStirShake walked into the room having arrived that morning from NYC.  Yes, my reaction of shock, surprise and utter joy was all caught on video and has been memorialized forever on the grand interwebs.  As part of @MixStirShake’s surprise trip, we traveled to Santa Monica by bus.  Below is the story of what took place.  It is actually one of my favorite bus stories of all time, because I remember this girl very clearly with the tears in her eyes and complete exhaustion in her voice when she asked for a little help.  It also happened on my always favorite Rapid Transit 733.  Strangers helping strangers is a good thing.

733 – Transit Unlimited by @MixStirShake

One of my hostesses-with-the-mostessesss out here in LA is none other that blogger @Flat_Footed_LA of Is That A Pedestrian? fame. She writes about surviving DTLA & environs without a car. That’s right WITHOUT a car.

I took two bus adventures with her: one to Culver City and one from Santa Monica Blvd on the mighty 733. The 733 was a trip to be remembered. In addition to handling some bar-staffing drama back east in NYC, I had a great interaction with some lovely Los Angelenos.

For the first half of the ride, the bus was pretty packed. There was a hilariously flirtatious toddler who was all about Ms. Flat-Footed. We laughed with his family about what a “shy” kid they had on their hands. Like most journeys on public transport, flashes of friendliness were countered by boredom, fatigue, and general zoning out.

We were standing in the center of the crowded bus. The young woman next to me was maybe 17 years old. She was talking on her phone and then all the sudden… she wasn’t. Visibly frustrated, she threw her phone into her handbag and sighed. I smiled at her, as if to say, “Bummer.” She smiled back. As if to say, “Yeah.”  There was a short pause. I looked away. Then, I felt a tap on my arm. The young lady said, “Excuse me, Miss. Can I borrow your phone? Mine just died.”

I gave here my phone. Sure, she could have hopped off the bus at the next stop but I trusted her face. She sent her mother a text message and handed me back my phone. A few minutes later, my phone rang. It wasn’t for me. I handed the young woman the phone and she explained to her mother where she was getting off the bus and what time she would be home.

My friend and I were on the bus a good half hour after the young woman got off. During that time I got a couple of nice text message myself. The first one wasn’t for me: “That’s not safe, no phone!” The second one was: “Thank you nice lady.” As far as I’m concerned, there are a whole lot of nice ladies in this story.

Don’t lose faith in people, people.