Having commuted on public transportation for the best part of my life, I have often smiled at travelers building up in their minds their own stories about fellow travelers – and sometimes looked down at them.

Well, now that I have one, I thought I’d share it. Carefully keeping to facts as much as possible.

As public transportation folklore and stereotype would have it it, I have serendipitously stumbled upon this story due to a slight change in my daily routine: for utterly unrelated reasons I’ve happened to take a slightly earlier bus than usual for few days.

Here’s the facts: a person gets off at my same stop, greets and hugs another who has been waiting there. The second person appears to have some disadvantage or challenge the first is addressing. Oh, and one of them is a somewhat pretty young lady. I am sure this has played a role in my noticing the story in the first place.

My elaboration now: I like to suppose the two meet regularly, then move on to whatever they do together. I love to suppose this is about kindness, and support, and caring and sharing.

That’s as much as I wish to know – and to elaborate.

The lesson I’m drawing: the world must be teeming with great little stories few of us will ever even begin to see. Stories that keep it together and make it go round, I like to think. To have a chance to witness some, you need to get in touch with it. Busses, trains, public transportation give you that chance.

Broader economy lesson I like to draw: one of the externalities of private transportation has been cutting down on contacts with important strangers, relatively different from you: the whole category of fellow travelers.

Advertisements