The bus finally moved away from its corner to the appointed stop area. I followed other passengers, slowing down my pace so that I would be the last to get on the bus. I acted like I didn’t fall and nobody showed any response.
“Is this the way to North Fraser [Way]?” I asked as I put in my all-day pass into the reader.
The driver, an Indian…Canadian…, spoke without an accent, “This bus takes the long way to North Fraser. You should take the 106.”
I hurried off the bus and headed to the adjacent bus. This one had been arriving every 10 minutes rather than the 30 minutes it took for the 116. I got on and asked the driver (an Asian this time), “Does this go to North Fraser?”
“No, you should take the 116,” he pointed back to the bus that I had just clambered off.
I went back to the 116 and said with an expression of I am just following instructions, “I was told to take this bus.”
“Well, ok,” he said and started the bus.
I sat down in the middle…and realized…that I had about 2 hours left. I could easily just stay on the bus and head back to skytrain. And yet? Would I make it back to my train? Would I get to the dairy farm, quiz some of the customers, eat an ice cream scoop, and walk back in time to catch the next bus? It was unclear. What I knew that was that my ankle wasn’t smarting as much as I anticipated. Maybe I could still walk…or run. Maybe I could hitchhike. I look very innocent, right?
I hope so, I thought…as I stared out the window passing strip malls, empty sidewalks, cars all reminiscent of a suburb that did not use public transit.