Thursday, May 04, 2006

Day Four

Already it is Day 4. Thank goodness for a relatively calm day here. Sande decided to spend the morning at the gym. The bus station is very close and it works out great with the time schedule. Sande boarded the bus at 8:25, Bud was driving. We took the blue line to Wabash and got there at 8:45. The daycare at the gym opens at 9 so we had a few minutes to walk leisurely to the Gym. Sande had enough time to get in a quick workout and then catch the 10:45 blue line home. Imagine the suprise when we had Esam drive us home again. The ease of the bus makes me think about how more people should take the bus and the independance that one has with their cars is really not lost. I have been able to leave the Van parked for a majority of the week so far. The time that we have spent on the bus we have talked to other individuals or we have been able to read, to ourselves or to Sammy. By the way Sammy's book selection on the bus for the day was Rocket Power. A very interesting book on, you guessed it, Rockets. The trip was a 4.5 out of 5.
In the afternoon, Thad got home from his job and, since it looked like we needed a few things from the store, decided to run out to Gerbes. We also need another bus pass so he was going to stop by the Wabash station and pick another one up. You know, every now and then, the universe has a way of teaching you a lesson in patience and this turned out to be one of those days. Sammy was being his typical 3 year old self and decided that today would be a day when it would be good to test his boundaries with his dad.
We picked up the Blue Line West at our stop at Rice and Osage and went to Wabash to buy the pass. I had tried to find the office hours on the transit map and online but no luck. That's where patience kicked in. I got there at 4:45 and the office was closed. Turns out the office is only open until 4:30 during the week and so I was too late. I had also missed my connection to Gerbes trying to figure this out. So, Trying to make the best of a less than great situation, Sammy and I walked down to the new Keyotea tea room on Broadway for a snack. It was the first time I had been in there. It really is a beautiful place, and the people were very friendly and helpful. They really need to work on their cookie recipe however!!!
So in the tea room, Sammy decided to start testing his boundaries and by the time we got back to Wabash to get the Red Line West to Gerbes, I had pretty much lost any ability to control where he was going or what he was doing. He was trying to run out into the bus parking lot (a potentially VERY DANGEROUS place for a 3 year old), into the driver's break room (not very peaceful place if a 3 year old decided to invade your break space) and generally everywhere he thought he could get.
Needless to say, I was concerned about our errand to the grocery and so decided to just go back home. I told Sammy we could go to the grocery tomorrow. He wasn't happy but sometimes that's the way it goes. We got back on the Blue Line East and went home.
Overall I would give this ride a 2 out of a possible 5 just because I got absolutely nothing accomplished. I would also suggest that Columbia Transit put their Wabash station office hours on the next printing of their transit map so people do not make unecessary trips there. Sorry no picture today. Another of my patience lessons was figuring out our camera battery had pooped out on us. I'll get that changed out and should have more pictures tomorrow.


At 3:31 PM, Anonymous Lori Diab said...

Dear Simmons Family,
I want to take a few seconds to introduce myself. I am Esam's wife, Lori,we have 5 children, Omar, Jasmine, Mohammed, Saleh,and Sarah, and I got a chance to read tonight all the wonderful things everyone has said about him. He really likes his job and likes people a lot.He feels so much joy when he takes students to school and older people where they need to go and employees to their work.He feels and treats the riders just like family. One day I hope to meet your family.Good luck with your project, it's a wonderful and educational idea.
Lori Diab

At 3:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Simmons family
I must say its nice to see the professional way you are going about your project. I am a long time Transiteer, Riding since before the had those terrible elfwagons they used for years. My job finally too me away from the system some years ago, but I still say hello to some of the OLDtimers there. I was driving up Broadway the other day and was surprised to see Robert Hamilton on the Red, I thought he had gone paratransit a long time ago, he was just about the only driver I remember from when I use to ride. Oh there is the loud one you were talking about. I know he comes over brass and load sometimes, but I have seen Bud go wwaayy out of his way to help people when he did not have to. Though even I will admit he is a bit tight on the rules, it is said most are made to be broken. Be sure to take time to ride the late buses, Comlubia takes on A unique atmosphere after dark that can only be seen by Transit. I still do not see myself going back to the bus for a while, but I do miss some of the talks I had with old friends, drivers and riders. I look forward to reading your reports as they are posted, be sure to have fun

At 3:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I started reading this to see how it would go trying to use transit as a family, and now I'm hooked because it's such a great story of community here in Columbia that we don't often hear about. It's too bad that you really hadn't taken the bus to Earth Day--I think an Earth Day special would be a really great, appropriate idea.


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