Hooking Ain’t Easy (AKA Sex in the City)

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Photo by Transit Gurrl

Yeah, I said it, it really isn’t. Just to clarify, I’m not referring to the oldest profession, I’m talking about meeting that special someone to go for coffee with, tell your secrets to, or maybe do something wonderfully naughty with (*wink*).

I’m sure a lot of you think there are boundless opportunities to meet that special someone on transit, and while there may be, it appears you men are striking out. Recently a couple of friends told me stories of wanna-be Romeos woefully missing their marks in their attempts to woo them.  As such, I now feel it is incumbent upon me to give you boys some skoolin’ on the ins and outs of meeting people on transit, AKA Romantic Traffic (double bonus points if you recognise the Canadian music reference).

This subject will be a 2-part series covering the mating do’s and don’ts for both urban and suburban commuting. Now, let’s look at what happened to my friends….

Friend 1 was riding the Skytrain when a guy decided she was a tasty piece “sk-eye candy”. He then proceeded to flex his muscles and kiss his muscles while trying to make eye contact with her. Umm….NO!!!

Here’s the thing, while we appreciate a fine physique, peacocking will not win you points. If those muscles are that prominent, we’ll see them so no pointing to or kissing of them is necessary.

So what do you do? Simplicity is best and it all starts with one word – pay close attention (some of you may want to write this down). “Hello”. Did you get that? Yes, “hello” can work wonders, adding a smile to that works even better. I know, I know, you’re probably thinking “But Transit Gurrl, what do I do after that?”. How about complimenting her – perhaps she has a beautiful smile, or maybe her sweater brings out the blue in her eyes (yes, we appreciate it when you notice the colour of our eyes).

If she’s interested she’ll smile, probably giggle, and may even look shyly away while she thanks you. If she’s not, she may ignore you. If she’s a “b” with an itch, she may roll her eyes and look away (if that’s the case, be grateful you’ve learned the measure of her character early on).

For those of you commuting on Skytrain or on the city buses, time is of the essence – you need to strike while the iron is hot because you may only have one stop to seal the deal. Remember, faint heart never won fair maiden so suck up your courage and ask her out. Offer to buy her a coffee, see if she’d like to grab a smoothie and go for a walk along the seawall – whatever it is, just ask.

If you have a business card, great! Hand her your card while you ask her out. If you don’t have a card, write your name and number down for her (always carry a pen). What I don’t recommend is having cards printed for the sole purpose of picking up women because we’ll see right through that.

If she says she’s married, has a boyfriend, or is not interested, be gracious. Tell her that her man is a lucky guy and thank her for her time. Why bother? Well, if you’re cute or charming enough she may just have a friend. Remember, it’s all about the law of averages so keep trying and good luck!

Follow me on Twitter @TransitGurrl

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Have You Hugged Your Driver Today?

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Photo by Transit Gurrl

In case you haven’t already heard, a bus driver was shot yesterday when he asked a passenger to pay. Sure, we grudgingly take it as a given that our police officers, customs inspectors, prison guards – people who work in enforcement – run the risk of being harmed on the job, but bus drivers? Um, no!

If I sound somewhat protective of bus drivers, it’s because I am. Bus drivers have been an integral thread in the fabric of my life since I was 11 years old. They drove me to elementary school, high school, college, university, and to jobs all over the lower mainland. They got me to work safely when I didn’t want to drive in the snow, they’ve played designated driver when I’ve been out on the town with my friends, they gave me “Princess Drop-Off Service” by taking me to my office’s doorstep when I was too injured to walk when I was recovering from a car accident, and they’ve found room for me on their buses (including today) even though they were already packed to the gills.

I often tell friends that it’s a community on transit, particularly on the commuter buses.  Case in point, when my friend, Queen Elizabeth, informed her driver and fellow passengers that she would no longer be riding with them, they threw her a party. On her last ride with them, the passengers served refreshments and the driver had decorated a seat at the front for her all in plaid. To top it all off, he made sure there was bagpipe music playing as she entered and exited the bus (remember I told you last week that she’s Scottish).

On a previous bus route, I had a driver who was having a bad day and unfortunately he took it out on one or two passengers (hey, he’s human), and confessed along the way that he had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. We felt terrible for him so we passed around a card, took up a collection, and bought a restaurant gift certificate for him and his wife; we in return received a very misty-eyed thank you from him. Ultimately, the bus drivers look out for us passengers, and we in turn look out for them.

During the Olympics, some tourists from another country noted to one of my bus buddies that we locals often thank our drivers as we exit the bus. “Of course,” she told them, “bus drivers get us to our destinations safe and sound so the least we can do is tell them thank you.”

Bus drivers are the unsung heroes of our daily commute so I would like to dedicate this post to all of them and extend a heartfelt thank you.

Follow me on Twitter @TransitGurrl

Summer Loving

Photo by Transit Gurrl

Photo by Transit Gurrl

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.

Follow me on Twitter @TransitGurrl

Photo by Transit Gurrl

Photo by Transit Gurrl