Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Christmas Spirit

Waiting for the bus today: A taxi driver just offered me a free ride down the street! Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Modern Romance

A couple is sitting together, she has her head on his shoulder, their arms are entwined... and yet, they're both looking at their iPhones, lost in their own virtual worlds.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


A man is knitting. It looks like he might've knitted the tuque he's wearing as well. Cosy.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Corn off the cob

November 2

What's left of a cob of corn, just lying there next to my seat. Now I'm picturing someone eating corn on the cob on the bus, maybe with a bit of salt and butter?


October 30

Two men are having a relaxed discussion from one end of the bus to the other, as though they were sitting, alone, in their living room, breaking the unspoken rule of etiquette that we must be quiet and discreet while on the bus. Meanwhile, in true anglo-saxon fashion, everyone else is acting as though this wasn't happening at all.

Battle of the wills

September 26

A mother has been waiting for the bus with her stroller for 30 minutes, because of busses being too full to make room for the stroller. The bus she finally gets on has a wheelchair, and several elderly women taking up the priority seats. She refuses to get off, the driver won't leave with her blocking the aisle. She starts to swear and confront everyone. People are uncomfortable, annoyed... but in good Canadian style, say nothing. Finally the driver lets her stay on, as long as she takes full responsibility of her actions... or something.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Bad Day?

On the bus today: A very bitter bus driver keeps on playing the 'Please move to the back of the bus' and 'Priority seating is reserved for...' recordings. He's muttering to himself, complaining how no one listens anymore, etc. Except even once there are several seats available and no one is blocking the aisle, he continues to grumble and play the recording, saying he'll just 'Annoy the hell out of you!'

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Chivalry is not dead

On the bus today: A mother gets on the bus with her stroller. A 12-ish year old boy stands up, and lifts up the priority seat for her. The same young boy later held the door for me, with the sweetest look on his face, like this was an obvious and normal behaviour for a boy his age. This is also the Future. 

Saturday, October 5, 2013

OC on a Saturday night...

On the bus tonight: As I'm boarding the 95, a bunch of drunk kids dressed up as fairies and animals get off, woohoo-ing very loudly. Another bunch of pre-drinkers get off at the next stop, as a few geeks talking about role-playing, elemental magic, heroes and Diablo are getting on (on their way to an Orleans basement?). Meanwhile, outside, someone whistles loudly in our direction. Twice. I haven't bussed on a Saturday night for a while.
Also on the bus tonight: Not one, but two men wearing an Indiana Jones style fedora. I've really got to do this more often! (both guys were presumably at some Octoberfest event, both sporting Beau's shirts and carrying a stein. But they don't seem to be together.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


En bus aujourd'hui: Un gars parle super fort dans son téléphone  s'assurant que tout le monde dans le bus sache qu'un de ses amis travaille jusqu’à 19h, et que l'autre est au fin-fond d’Orléans.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Scientifically speaking...

A Frosh (sorry, Week 101) guide, with some very cute science puns written on his t-shirt, in excellent penmanship. 'Can I put my test tube in your rack? (Please?)' 'Let's make zygotes!'

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Merci monsieur!

July 23

Waiting for the bus today: As the bus approaches, my friend discovers she doesn't have her PRESTO card on her. As she frantically searches her purse, a very kind man offers to give her some bus tickets, then refuses her offer 
to pay him back with the change she's got. Thank you for your kindness, monsieur!

Bus tip #1

July 15

Bussing tip #1: Wearing a red dress while running to catch a bus helps to get said bus to stop for you, even in between stops.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Not so typical...

June 13

On the bus today: An older lady, with cane, grey hair and glasses on the tip of her nose, is looking reprovingly at two mothers with their very adorable babies in strollers. She's shaking her head at them, lips in a tight line. This might be a completely normal / stereotypical scene... if it weren't for the lady's bag: It's got the picture of a punk baby with spiky hair, sunglasses, and bejewelled piercings on it!

Mother Courage

On the bus today: On one side of the bus, two teenaged boys are discusing military strategies, while across the aisle, a woman is spinning wool.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Gandalf the Denim

At the bus station today: A bearded man wearing a Beard Team Canada t-shirt and a jeans wizard hat.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Time traveler?

Also on the bus today: A very elegantly dressed black woman, clearly on her way to (from) Mass. For some reason, she is wearing three watches on the same wrist. 
Must be Sunday morning.

Free pamphlets

On the bus today: A woman asks the bus driver: Would you like a free pamphlet? The driver, being used to answer questions about where his bus goes to, asks her to repeat her question. She has to repeat it three times, holding up everyone else wanting to get on the bus. Finally, the driver, confused, asks what the free pamphlet is. About Jesus, she replies. No thank you, he says. And we drive on, as the woman tries to talk to the woman sitting next to her about Jesus. Once again, she is turned down.


mai 23, 2013

Woa. Waiting for the bus today: Three teens with a baby carriage, discussing who's the toughest, who's had the most difficult childhood. They're talking about a girl who pretends to be tough, but 'Did she ever get punched for not doing her homework? Because I did.' 

Thursday, May 2, 2013

A heartwarming story

On the bus today: A young man, covered in tattoos  pants hanging below his butt, is talking intently to the driver as I get on. Curious, I follow their conversation. The young man then goes to an old lady sitting in front, and very politely tells her that her stop is coming up, and gives her instructions on how to catch her transfer. At the next stop, the young man confirms with the driver which bus she needs to take to get to IKEA, and the tells his girlfriend to wait as he crosses with the old lady to make sure she gets on the right bus! Des fois, les gens sont juste beaux!

Monday, April 29, 2013


On the bus today: Sometimes, answering your phone in public is a bad idea. Like the young woman across from me who just got a phone call telling her that her grandma had passed away. Now we're all trying to avoid her eyes, pretending we didn't hear this very private conversation.

Monday, April 22, 2013


Waiting for the bus tonight, on the Mackenzie-King bridge: Across the road from me, a young teen is gettng arrested next to two police cars with flashing lights. On my side of the bridge, a young woman is unselfconsciously belting out some soulful songs. I love my city!


(April 17)

On the bus today: A man, carrying his belongings wrapped in sheets and a towel. His torn brown pants are too short for him, but his clothes are clean, and so is he. It almost looks like he belongs on the stage, not on a bus.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Mustaches and bananas

Waiting for the bus today: I might've mentionned this guy before, but he keeps on popping up on my bus rides, at all times of day. In his forties, he has bleached blond hair, with a bowl haircut and a Hitler style mustache. The first time I saw him, I imagined I could see his right hand twitching to salute, a la Dr Strangelove. But since then, I've realised he's dancing to the hip hop music playing in his earphones.


On the bus tonight: A human banana! No, really, there's someone dressed up as a banana, chatting along with her friend as though it was all perfectly normal.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Nothing to report...

This is so silly. The moment I decide to start a blog, I find there's nothing interesting to report on the bus!
Feel free to share your own "on the bus today" stories as comments below.

Friday, February 22, 2013

How's it... dangling?

On the bus tonight: The man sitting in front of me is wearing a baseball cap. I can't see what's on the front, but on the back it says 'Built 2 dangle'. What does this mean?!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

How it all began

In 2010, I started taking the bus more often than I used to, and I discovered that there are some very interesting people taking the OC Transpo busses in this Capital city of ours. One day, I had a strange sighting on the number 9, and updated my Facebook status:
"I think I'm going to start keeping a record of the interesting ppl I see and meet on the bus. Today: creepy guy talking to himself, turning back to look at me every time we come to a stop. As I'm thinking of what I'll do if he does follow me off the bus (I have my stilts with me, so I am armed), he puts his finger to his nose, comes out with some liquid snot, then proceeds to put his finger in his mouth, and then smacks his lips appreciatively. Gross. Luckily, he did not follow me off the bus."
Since then, I've been regularly updating my status with my bussing observations. Recently, someone suggested I could start a blog with these little stories. So here it is!
To begin with, here is a review of previous updates. Enjoy! 

On the bus today:
1- Creepy-snot-guy was back, stealing glances at me. He even switched seats to get a better view!
2- Loud French-Canadian man swearing into his phone, warning 'Ned' against a nervous breakdown. 'Ostie de tabarnac, sacrament, holy f---, oui, tabarnac de calisse, esti!'
On passe du Mammet au Dalpé
On the bus today: a big, burly man, waiting for the bus with his mouth open, and looking slightly awkward with his yoga mat sticking out of his gym bag.
On the bus today: I'm sorry to report another occurrence of a rude bus driver. Passenger, showing the driver a paper with hand-written instructions, asks if she's on the right bus. 
Driver: 'You'll have to read it to me, I can't read without my reading glasses' (so far, so good, but then:) 'it's not part of my job to read your handwriting!' 
Really, was that necessary? Sigh. 
Waiting for the bus today: A beautiful young man, happily lost in his thoughts, smiling to himself.
On the bus today: Snot-guy is back, making strange moaning sounds.
On the bus today: A woman gets on, looking confused. She doesn't take a seat, simply looks up and down the bus, looking even more confused, and then gets off at the next stop. I wonder who she was hoping to find here...
Waiting for the bus today: A woman using a lint roller on her pants at the bus stop. Thanks to years of reading detective novels, I can safely deduce that:
a- She owns a furry pet
b- She was late getting out the door this morning. 
Elementary, my dears.
Upon further observation, I can also deduce that she didn't have time to brush her teeth this morning, and that she probably has at least one young child

On the bus today: A young woman saw that I was running to catch the 95, which was closing its doors, so she held the door for me, then checked to see if anyone else was running to catch a connection. Very thoughtful, considering how many bus drivers tend to drive off when they see people running to catch up! Merci mademoiselle!

On the bus today: A mother is talking to her baby, stream of consciousness style, non-stop, about everything going through her head. 'Look, he's wearing a watch! But you won't learn to tell the time until you're much older. Mommy didn't learn until she was 8 or 9. And look, a phone. Your great-grandma still has an old basic phone. She doesn't need anything more.' And on, and on and on. I wonder how long it will take this child to learn to roll her eyes and say 'Oh, Mother!'

Dans le bus aujourd'hui: Une femme qui n'arrête pas de répéter 'Shit qu'il fait chaud. Shit qu'il fait chaud.' Je pense qu'elle aimerait bien que quelqu'un lui réponde, mais tout le monde fait un effort pour éviter son regard.

On the bus today: I put my bike on the rack, behind a sleek racing bike, complete with a number in front. Once on the bus, I look around, trying to figure who this bike belongs to, expecting to see a fit cyclist, wearing Lycra or whatever cyclists wear to race. Turns out the bike belonged to a man wearing a bad fedora, and sporting a very large beer belly. Sure showed me!
On the bus this morning: A couple, completely lost in their little world. They've each got an earbud  and are staring into each other's eyes. But somehow, they look sad and worried. The husband gently kisses her face, she plays with her (new?) wedding ring. Also, cute detail, her forehead fits perfectly into the ridge of his nose!

(Not quite) on the bus tonight: I see the 95 coming into the station. I start running. People are boarding the bus. I run down the stairs, carrying my bike. The doors shut. I signal the driver, with my most charming smile. The bus driver looks at me. Drives away. I curse.

On the bus tonight: A tall dwarf, a pock-faced woman, and a man with a silver suitcase. They're laughing and grinning at each other, sharing a secret we can only try to guess at. They're speaking a language I can't understand, but the woman repeats "Such a beautiful, a magical place" "A perfect place". Their elation makes me imagine that they've just pulled off something unbelievable, like robbing a bank, or escaping from an evil kingdom.

On the bus tonight: A young man and his football jersey, shoulder pads included. I'm trying not to breathe in too deeply...

On the bus tonight: A punk bad-boy, a woman dressed for the Grand Ole Opry, and a girl wearing what looks like Victorian underwear. It never gets boring here!

On the bus tonight: A young man wearing low-riding jeans and a wife-beater, slouching in his seat, next to his bleached-blond girlfriend with very big bosom almost falling out her tube-top. They are hogging the priority seats at the front. And yes, I am being very judgemental, I know.

Although taking the bus is often a very antisocial, 'leave me alone in my bubble' kind of experience, I am often moved and impressed by the sense of community that can sometimes arise.
(On The Bus Today: at Mackenzie King station, I had a nice chat about music with a friendly man. Then, when a young man fell off his skateboard and hit his head, many people came to his aid, offering towels, calling an ambulance, making sure he was ok... Once on the bus, the friendly driver greeted everyone, in French and English, and even recognised a rider from earlier in the evening. A good way to end a tiring night.)

On the bus today: A young boy sitting behind me is impressed by the amount of water that's fallen from the skies: <Good things there's no floods in Canada... right?> <We'll go home, and then we'll be nice and cosy.> <Woa. At least it'll help the plants to grow.> <Will it stay like this forever?>

I love to observe the non-verbal cues people give each other on the bus. <I'm getting off at the next stop, please let me pass.> <I'm also getting off at this stop, don't worry, I'll move when it's time.> ...

Waiting for the bus today: 4 police cars at Hurdman station. Two women are giving a colour commentary on everything that's going on. The guy in handcuffs is being released, and it all ends with friendly fistbumps! All that's left are the two women, still talking about nothing.

Fun game to play on the bus: deviner si les gens sont francophones ou anglophones juste en les regardant. I'm usually pretty good at guessing a person's first language by their face and expressions.

On the bus today: the most adorable little old woman, straight of a storybook, with a blue kerchief on her head and eyes that have seen the world.

Late night bus ride. A grown man gets on the bus, wearing furry bunny ears over his tuque, and rolled-down purple and black knee-highs. huh.

Off the bus tonight: got off the bus at Hurdman, to see three OC Transpo police officers talking to a man with blood on the side of his head, while another man (presumably the assailant) was trying to get them to hear his side of the story. I'm not good with confrontation, so I was a bit shaken, but luckily I met a friend on the next bus I got on, who helped me feel better. Oh, dear OC Transpo, you're always entertaining.

On the bus today: A mother just told her young daughter that if she didn't behave, 'I'll smack your butt in front of everyone.' Hmmm... maybe not the best choice of words.

On the bus today: A young woman is using her iPod camera as a mirror, to check her teeth and clean them out with a toothpick.

On the bus today: It's snowing. In the bus. Just on me, it would seem. I feel like the cartoon character with a cloud over her head, but instead of rain and thunder, it's little snowflakes falling on me.

On the bus today: It would seem I've caught the special school route version of my local bus. Tweens are loud. And vulgar. My poor ears. And head. Maybe I should've walked.

On the bus tonight: A man with no nose and a man with a hole in his trachea are talking - quite loudly - about how hard it i to breathe, what it's like to take a shower (the man without a nose can't: he chokes), how their snot looks like cement after a night's sleep,... I'll admit, I'm slightly freaked out.