It’s true what they say about how you never forget your first and I’ll certainly never forget mine! Of course I’m referring to my first bus buddy – what did you think I was talking about? In case you’re not hip to the lingo, bus buddies are the people you sit and chat with on a regular basis on your daily commute. Bus buddies are the people you share laughs, hopes, dreams, and fears with. Bus buddies are the people you share your favourite recipes, triumphs, and heartaches with. Bus buddies are the people who set the tone for your day and wish you a good night. Bus buddies are the cornerstone of the transit community.
I first met Queen Elizabeth 16 years ago during my commute home. Sure, I’d seen her around on the morning and evening buses (everyone knew her as the woman with the little blonde baby), and fate had it that we would sit together one night. We hit it off right off the bat as I enjoyed her cheeky Scottish sense of humor, and she in turn liked my witty sarcasm (okay, I’ll admit to that last bit being pure speculation on my part).
After that fateful day it was imperative that I always sit next to her, whether I wanted to or not. True story. One evening I tried sitting at the back of the bus but to no avail as she dragged me up to the front to sit with her (she’s pretty bossy). While I like to tell myself that she befriended me because of my scintillating personality, I have a sneaking suspicion that at least part of the reason why she had me sit with her was for the assistance with child-minding.
To avoid the high cost of childcare (remember, she’s Scottish!), she and her husband would work opposite shifts. Each evening hubby would meet the bus partway home and hop on to hand over the wee babe. As mentioned earlier, she’s quite cheeky so she took great delight in torturing me nightly, purely for her entertainment. Sometimes she’d suggest her daughter sit on my lap when she knew her diaper was loaded (ugh – stinky!), but typically it was to get me to sing. The Bumblebee Song was a particular favourite so I’d often have to sing it MULTIPLE times in a row. If you were serenaded with nursery songs on a regular basis during your evening commute in the 90′s, that was me and you’re welcome.
Her Majesty and I moved on in our careers and in turn lost touch with each other. This summer I had the good fortune if running into her at the mall and since then we’ve been taking advantage of the lovely weather by going for walks together at a local park. We’re both a little older, a little wiser, a lot gassier, and just as cheeky as ever, but our friendship has stood the test of time.
This week Translink is celebrating I Love Transit 2013 and in honour of this this annual event I encourage all of you to find yourself a bus buddy and do something together outside of your regular commute. Go to a poetry reading, have dinner together, get matching tattoos! Whatever you do, have fun, stay safe, and remember your farecard. In the meantime, enjoy the pics I took during my last walk with the Queen.
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