Lessons from Muni

I’ve been riding Muni (the local San Francisco bus) for over two years now. There’s never a dull moment and you’re always bound to disembark with a story. Here are some lessons I’ve learned while riding the bus:

– Don’t cut your nails on the bus. I assumed this was a unspoken rule, but apparently not. No one needs to hear the sound of nails being clipped or having nails strewn all over the bus. So just don’t do it.

– Respect the personal space. If there are ample seats on the bus, there is no need for you to sit next to me.

– Don’t sit on the outer seat of the bus if the inner seat is available. I will come sit on the inside seat, with my purse and other bags hitting you in the face, while most likely stepping on your foot. It’s so much easier for you and me if you just slide over.

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– Be accommodating. No one dreams of being on a crowded Muni. So try to make things easier for everyone and be accommodating. Move to the back of the bus, slide on over so a fellow passenger can get a better grip of the pole, make yourself as flat as possible when people are trying to exit, etc. These things may be small, but they really help and I’m always appreciative when I am on the receiving end of them.

I spent a long time being annoyed or irritated when I was on Muni. But then I realized I rode it every morning and evening and I had a bitter Muni taste in my mouth long after I got off at my stop and that was no way to start/end my day. I realized that just as I didn’t like Muni, nor does anyone else (I know, duh). Once I had this quite obvious revelation, riding Muni has been more tolerable.

– Lastly, Muni has taught me that there are so many different types of people out there. It is so easy to be in your own little bubble and only associate with people of the same profession, socioeconomic status, age group, race, etc. Living in the city and subsequently riding Muni has opened my eyes to the different ways people live their lives. You see people that are young, old, professionals, retired, happy, sad, and so on. You see them every morning and every evening, wondering where they are going and where they are coming from. What a ride.

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