Bus rant

5 01 2013

I normally don’t rant about daily annoyances, but I feel I must do it today.

Okay.  Lots of people don’t know how to open the doors to get off the buses in Vancouver.  It also doesn’t help that there are many minorities and immigrants in this city, but the only instructions labeled on the doors are in English.  As the bus stopped, an older man wanted was waiting by the doors.  He touched the doors, as one is supposed to do to open them, but the bus driver hadn’t unlocked the doors (the lights at the doors weren’t on).  He pushed and pushed and hit the doors, yelling, “Get off!  Get off!”  A lady sitting nearby (I couldn’t actually see her from where I was sitting but heard her voice) simply advised him, “Push!”, as if it was the obvious thing to do.  Except of course, it didn’t matter how much he pushed the door (which he was already doing anyway)– the bus driver hadn’t unlocked the doors.

What bothered me about this was not the older man, but the woman, who wasn’t helping the situation.  There are some people in this city who think they know how the transit system works, or in this case, how to get off the bus, but they don’t.  In the words of George Carlin, “some people seem intelligent… but wait.  They’re just full of shit!”  And anyway, to open the door, you don’t need to push at all.  You don’t even need to touch the doors.  It’s activated by sensors.

I shouted to the bus driver, “Backdoor”, what has now become a sort of unofficial way of saying, “Hey, driver.  Could you open the door for me?”  The lights came on and the man got off.  Crisis over?

At the next stop, the same thing, oddly enough, happened again.  Another older man wanted to get out.  Doors were locked.  He shouted, “Get off, get off!” too (is this becoming the new “Backdoor!”?).  Unhelpful woman told him to “Push”, which he was already doing.  Bus driver unlocked the doors.  Sensor sensed him there.  They opened.

I wanted to go up to the woman and educate her on how to actually get off the bus, which does not include pushing the door or really, using any force.  But then I had to get off the bus, and lo and behold, I didn’t even have to touch the doors.

Why one shouldn’t hold subway doors

30 05 2011

A few days ago, I was sitting on the skytrain next to one of the doors.  The train was at Main Street/Science World station and the bell rang, indicating the doors were closing.  A few people were running for the doors, but probably saw/heard that the doors were closing so they tried to hold open the doors which would make the doors open again for them to squeeze in.  Unfortunately, they decided to use their reuseable bag to wedge through the door (I suppose because they were able to swing it in) and the bag did go through the door — all of the bag.  The doors closed on the handles of the bag and since the handles were too thin, they weren’t able to detect any objects in the way.

I watched as the skytrain started moving, the bag on the train, the handles on the platform.  The owner tried to pull on the bag, while someone who was standing at the doors tried to pry it open so they could at least get their bag back but the doors wouldn’t open far enough.  Eventually, they were pulling too hard on the handles and it broke off; the bag landed on the floor of the train and the owner was left probably standing there with two cloth handles in his/her hand, watching the train depart in disbelief.

Meanwhile, everyone on the train including me were fairly dumbfounded at what just happened, and then there was whole issue of what to do with the bag.  No one stepped over to pick it up or open it or anything, though in my head, I volunteered to stay with the bag at the next stop (which would be my stop) and wait for the owners to catch the next train so they could pick up the bag.  When the train pulled into Broadway and Commercial, a man also sitting nearby mumbled something and picked up the handleless bag.  As I followed him out the door and off the train, he stood a few feet away from the doors, presumably waiting for the next train and for the person holding two broken handles.


24 05 2010


In your cave of clothes
Dank, reeking
of sulfurous detergent
Ties hanging, stalactites
Asphyxiating turtlenecks
a skeleton in the corner, still rotting
Secrets lost in the creases

The hermit refuses to leave.

Wardrobe and lies expand
but instead of yearning for the open sunlight,
he shrinks himself,
insignificant as the lint in the pockets.
Family and friends familiar with his shadow
on the wall
his distorted voice behind sliding doors
unaware of his true face
Soulless sweaters and vests,
He knows them best.

I’ve come with questions
But your answers are prepared
“No” echoing to silence.
Caves have no doors:
Is this really the only place you want to know?