On the Bus

This is my friend Ala' from my English class.  She was paired with someone she doesn't like very much last week and you should have seen how sassy she was with him!  This picture is slightly more related than last week's "On the Bus" but only in that I usually take the bus to get to my class...

Anyway, this happened about a month ago actually, but it's worth telling.  I usually ride Arab bus #74 to work each week and it takes me exactly where I need to go to and from work.  But a few weeks ago I got on the 74 and instead of going toward Beit Hanina it took a turn in the opposite direction and got onto the freeway going towards a town called Pizgat Ze'ev.

I tried not to panic because surely the bus would turn back around shortly, but when it finally came back to shufat road (where my work is) it had passed by my work and as far as I knew was headed to Ramallah.  I, without my passport let alone time to spare, began to get a little nervous.  To add to my nervous-ness a few men from the back started yelling at the bus driver.  From what I could tell they wanted to know why we had taken a different route as well and they were very displeased.  At one point the bus driver pulled over to the side of the road rather abruptly, yelled something fierce sounding, and motioned for them to get off the bus.  The arguing continued and as they were stepping off the bus the driver had one last thing to say (probably about someone's mother) and the last man off the bus turned and lunged towards the driver.  His friends held him back and dragged him away and the driver quickly shut the door in his face before merging back with traffic.

People didn't really seemed bothered by this incident, but I was still a ways away from my work (...as far as I could tell).  At one point everyone emptied off the bus except for a very nice woman and her little boy.  I had previously been hiding midway back on the bus next to the window, but at this point I made my way to the front.  With the help of the nice mother the three of us figured out that I needed to be back a few miles.

"Just stick with me - I'll get you where you need to go"  the bus driver said as he flipped a ridiculous U-turn passing several construction signs that probably said "Do not turn around here."

And sure enough I was dropped off at the front door of my work in just a few minutes.  Turns out there was a GIANT accident blocking my normal route to work.

Not hearing overhead messages on the bus that might save me oodles of stress is really increasing my motivation to learn Arabic.


  1. Ha! What a great story. I just spent a little while catching up on your blog. Looks like you had a great Christmas and that is so neat you're teaching ESL!

  2. Teaching has been more rewarding than I could have imagined. It's been nice to have something to get a little nervous about, to have to really figure out the best ways to teach my students English.