Those of you who were around before 2020… 2020d all over us, might remember me mentioning that I take public transit to work and it’s where I do most of my writing. A long time ago I decided to stop taking my car to work for several reasons and started taking the bus instead. Unfortunately, where I live, that means a minimum of 45 minutes sitting on a bus each way, and I quickly realized that I needed to fill that time if I didn’t want to go nuts. When I started the blog, it became the perfect pastime. I quickly figured out how to type out my posts on my phone and save them for later review. And for years that’s how it was.
It’s sort of the secret to my consistency. I have to get on the bus every day, twice a day in fact. And writing posts is by far the most productive and interesting thing I can do while I’m on there. So why not.
However, it’s been a few years. In fact, I just realized that I got on the wrong bus /^;*$#’dhgdf@! Guys… I forgot which bus I was supposed to get. Great!
What was I saying? Oh yeah, I haven’t written on my phone or in public for a very long time. I had forgotten a few things. Aside from which bus to take that is.
For instance, it can be a little intimidating. Here I am, full makeup and in a suit, typing frantically on my phone. Maybe I’m fooling everyone around me into thinking I’m diligently working? No one else is doing that. People are calmly sitting, sleepily looking ahead. Some have earbuds in and are stoically listening to something, probably. No one is bobbing their head, shimmying on their seat or laughing out loud like I would be if I was listening to something. It’s still dark out so anyone reading is doing so on their phones.
But I m not. I’m hectically writing. I’ve switched from the bus to the metro now. I’ll need to take a connecting line soon. If I had gotten on the right one, it would have been a single direct line.
This post isn’t very enthralling. I’m just sharing this experience with you because it’s striking to me. It’s a big part of my blog just like you guys are. But in the past, I have written on subjects I’m passionate about. I’ve discussed series that have touched me deeply. I have written posts to vent out frustration or share pain. And I’ve done so while writing on buses.
It sort of struck me all at once that for years, I was doing this very intimate act in a way, in a completely public setting. Today I’m wearing a mask so I feel unjustifiably protected. But for years I was out in the open. Scandalous!
But I actually like this. Blogging is not an isolated experience. I figure that for most of us, putting something out on the internet means that at least a part of us hopes that somebody will read it. So there’s something fitting about writing it surrounded by people. Even though I doubt anyone here would have any interest.
I’ll be honest, I’m not sure anyone at all would be interested in such an aimless post. But there’s still catharsis in writing it.
That might be what I’m getting at. I hadn’t noticed at the time but this practice of just sitting down in the bus and letting my thoughts run free, because there’s nothing else to do, was allowing me to tap into a much freer and more spontaneous writing style. One that’s freeform and carefree but also careless and clearly aimless.
This is not the type of post I would ever be able to write sitting in my home office staring at my computer. Knowing that I could go do something else at any moment and having emails and texts coming in. Not that they don’t come in while I’m on the bus mind you. It’s just that for some reason I find them much easier to ignore. After all, I’ll just reply why I get home. There’s a clear delineation there.
I’ve missed this. Much more than I realized. It’s more meditative than my posts have been lately. And this is a state of mind that carries over well in reviews. Some of my very favourite reviews to write are my nearly nonsensical idol show reviews. And I find that I can only whip myself up into that giddy frenzy when I’m writing on the bus. Oddly isolated yet in a commune. I can’t explain it.
I don’t miss going to work though.
It’s evening now by the way. I’m on my way back. And it’s pitch black. It looked like the middle of the night when I left and it’s the middle of the night now. It’s like there’s no daytime. I’m sure you’re all relieved to know that after getting on the wrong bus, I did manage to make it to work. With a considerable detour. I still got there fairly early which would have been great if I hadn’t left my keycard at home. So I watched wistfully the empty floor as I desperately texted everyone to see if someone was around to let me in. It only took about 15 minutes thankfully. A few hours later I went up to the reception desk to pick up a visitor pass for the day. Our receptionist is quite sweet. We said hello, exchanged pleasantries. I told her I had forgotten my pass and asked I could get a visitor’s for the day. She said sure, then she said: And you are?
Now, that was just the perfect cap to the day. She knows me quite well but apparently didn’t recognize me with a mask and my new hair. To be honest, I’m not quite sure she ever really believed it was me. Part of her clearly wanted to ask for ID.
I guess somewhere along the way, I lost the required skill set to physically get to work. Fantastic.
Oh well. The receptionist did say she liked my hair. And I got to write this post. So I guess it’s a net gain!
I suspect I don’t really want to know the answer but, did you guys miss my completely rando posts? Don’t worry, there’s not going to be a ton of them. I figured we could just catch up for a bit. How have you been?
29 thoughts on “Writing in Buses”
I thoroughly enjoyed this. I truly felt as if I was sitting right there with you all throughout your day. You have a gifted voice, of making the reader feel as if they are in your presence. It was quite an experience! Thank you for sharing, I look forward to reading more of your work. 🙂
That’s so sweet. Thank you so much
I love this post! It gives me feels 🙂
Awww, thank you
I relate to that quite well, use to write most on my blog post (when I was blogging) on the bus, now most of my fanfic are written on the bus. It’s amazing the amount of word you can write in 20 mins when you have no distraction.
I know!! It was so much easier! You still go to work in person?
Sadly yes, the joy of retail work XD
Back in the dim, distant past when I used to commute to work, in Winter I used to think of it as “working between the dark”. The hour and a half commute would be conducted entirely in darkness at both ends of the day. I kinda liked it, I have to say – the darkness bit, not the commute. In Summer it was just heat all round and the sun still up until stupid o’clock at night – but there was something “softening” about the cooler months that, if it didn’t exactly make the commute a joy, at least gave it some mood, some atmosphere. I dunno – it touched something in me, maybe. Back in those days, we didn’t have lap tops or mobile phones – well, we did, but they were the size of a tennis court (yes, I know – I am very, very old!) so I read…got through so many books back then!
And I do have to say I really do like your random posts. Kinda like your series reviews, with your random posts I get the sense there’s a bigger picture going on, that there’s more of you in the post than is ordinarily the case. And, personally, I think that’s a good thing!
Awwww thank you. I’m not as good at creating stream of conciousness posts from home for some reason.
This reminds me of when I had an hour long commute daily (and sometimes twice a day) between home and college. I think I used to mostly listen to music and people watch, but sometimes I’d write. You have a lot of dedication to write consistently each time you ride the bus.
It’s honestly the funnest thing to do on a bus. I tend to bop around to music like a toddler so it’s a little embarassing to do in a public space…
I always thought you carried around a laptop. I envision you sitting on the bus, or coffee shop tapping away at the keyboard writing out your blog post(s) during your trip to and back, and during your break. Then edited at home. Well, that explains things.
I do carry around a laptop but winter in Canada, with all the ge coats, hats, gloves, already makes public transit overcrowded and a bit of a challenge. I don’t think I could take a laptop out on top of it all.
How cold does it get in Canada xDD. We brits whinge like no tomorrow when we get weather above or below our comfort zone 😂😂. Thought as much you would 😁
This year it’s actually really warm. It’s currently -24C which is cold but I think still somewhere close to a record high for this time of year.
I will never write or even read a review item in Either a car or a bus. I get motion sick way too easily.
I will not review it in a bus, nor in a car today.
I will not review it while in motion, you say.
I will not, Sam You Are. I will not…
DAMMIT. Now I’m talking in Seussian!!
Uh… So what do you think of Nezuko’s breasts… DAMMUT THATS TWITTER SPEAK… uhhh… I’m not the same before mealtime?… Hmm… Close enough.
I didn’t realize so many people got motion sickness….
The best posts are often rando and off the cuff.
I’m with Karandi on this. I get very sick very quickly if I try to read or write n a moving vehicle. Billboards and street signs are about my limit. Sometimes just an unexpected braking or a random swerve can set off my vertigo. You are a very fortunate person in this. In fact, your utter lack of motion sickness says you might qualify to be a ship’s captain or a pilot.
Or may be even an astronaut. They could do an anime about you.
Thank you Fred!
Both my parents use to get motion sickness. I remeber when I was very little, we crossed the meditarrean by boat and I was the only one that cold walk around all fine. I was also 3 or something so that was a problem. I’ve always been completely indefferent to motion sickness and I know I’m blessed that way!
I’m sorry you have it so bad. At least you don’t get sick watching anime…I hope
There are movies that can make me sick. I watched a movie at a theater in Disneyland where you were close to a curved screen and it made ne nauseous. It was something about viewing America’s parks from the air and something about how the camera moved and panned from an airplane made me close my eyes through half of it or it would not have been pretty. The same scene on a small screen doesn’t bother me.
When i fly somewhere or take a boat I always take some antinausea meds of one sort or another first.
But even a car is enough to make me sick if I am a passenger and the driver is one of those constantly speeding up and slowing down or rocking side to side in the lane. Or taking crves too hard or stopping too quickly or jack rabbit starts or maybe there’s a foul smell.or or or or…
When I was a young kid I would do all my homework on the bus to school. But then I started getting sick ad that put an end to that. I think it got really serious around the start of puberty around the age of ten.
When I went to university I used to have a 50 minute train trip followed by twenty minutes on the bus (and that was assuming someone could drop me at the train station and I didn’t have to sit on a bus for twenty minutes to get there). Unfortunately, I get pretty motion sick so reading or writing while in transit is more or less not an option which means travel time for me is just wasted time.
One thing I do enjoy about living in a very small town is that I now get to work usually before a single song finishes playing on the car stereo. If it wasn’t stupidly hot in summer I’d walk and be there in twenty minutes. What that means is I usually have a couple of hours in the morning where I can work on my blog before I have to leave for work because it is literally just up the road.
Being able to walk everywhere sounds really nice. If I walk for twenty minutes in any direction, I will either only pass private houses or be in the river. I live right next to the St-Laurence.
I’m sorry to hear about your motion sickness. It’s good that you don’t get it in the car.
It just takes longer to kick in when driving (if I’m the driver I’m usually okay provided I take rest breaks, but as a passenger I suck). Which makes most holidays fun given how far I usually have to drive to get anywhere.
I go to work by train, around 35 minutes one way. I couldn’t write anything; I’d be too distracted. Reading is fine, but writing just isn’t possible.
You may have noticed that I reply not quite as often as I used to. Why? Well, it’s my disrupted rhythm. I read stuff whenever, and then I reply, maybe, later. Or I just read the new post. Daily rhythm really does contribute to consistency.
I can definitely relate. I used to bus around everywhere in my sleepy little town in Japan because there was no train service there and at that point I didn’t own a car. The kids who got on the bus at different points on my journey, many of whom I would teach later on in the day, always used to wonder what I was writing. (Luckily, I’m sure they thought it was all work-related, bless them.)
Oh that sounds adorable. I bet a few of them would have been very impressed to know you were able to do things other than working!
I can somewhat relate to this feeling and getting things done on the bus, including writing blog posts often since I used to have a pretty long commute before 2020 (2-3h). But since then I’ve mainly had online classes or remote work. In the rare times I do get on a bus nowadays I feel nauseous whenever I try to do anything, even looking at my phone for too much time. I’m really sad that I’ve lost that ability and the sort of sense of comfort, if you can call it that, that I could do pretty much anything on a bus comfortably. It was such a huge part of my day that I just feel… odd, nostalgic, regretful…. for some reason… idk this comment may have gotten too random now.
Oh wow, I can imagie. I would also be bummed out. For what it’s worth, if life gts back to normal, I suspect you will eventually get those skills back!