The people on the bus

When I get on a bus, I pay the fare, quietly greet the service provider — they are not bus drivers; their name plate clearly says “service provider” — and find a seat. Later, I’ll push the buzzer button to indicate I’d like to get off at the next stop.

Nothing complicated.

Much more fascinating was what happened a few stops after I sat down one day.

A gentleman in his early 100s got on the bus, paid his fare, and then clearly stated, no…announced to the service provider the stop where he needed to be.

Then he sat down.

He hadn’t waited for an answer. He was neither rude nor arrogant. In fact, he was perfectly pleasant and all smiles both to the service provider and when he later jumped up to offer his seat to a young mother and her son.

Oh I was far too shy to scoot over and ask whether he always announced his stop to the service provider, perhaps assuming the driver would remember all passengers’ stops. Did he do that years ago? Does he never use the buzzer button when riding the bus?

No, I couldn’t ask that. That would have implied that he was, well, old.

He was confident and quite likely a walking history book, yes. But he wasn’t old.

Goodness no.

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