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Kat Marriner : August 24th, 2009

Trading Local Color for Efficiency

A Seattle Times article rather accurately describes a typical ride on the #7 bus running between downtown and Rainier Beach. It’s been part of our repertoire of transportation choices since moving to Beacon Hill where the 7 is a quick walk down the hill or the 36 is a quick walk up the hill. A ride on the 7 is gritty, diverse and full of stories.

When I last rode it earlier this summer, a young woman in traditional dress from some place I couldn’t identify was singing a sweet, sad tune before she started growling like a trapped wild animal. I was sitting in the first forward facing seat with my knees nearly touching her long skirt. Grossly fascinated and a bit intimidatied, I stole peeks at her performance. After about 10 minutes of this sing-song-growl not a person had complained or even moved away from her, but eventually the driver got out of his seat while at a light and told her to stop. It was distracting him. She clearly understood and stopped. I chalked it up to another day in the life of the lowly #7.

Today for convenience I would opt to take light rail downtown for it’s cool efficiency. But I’m missing the characters and stories. Not a complaint, but an observation. The #7 is a lesson in diversity, sometimes compassion, and always patience. The article reminds me what I am giving up for a fast ride.

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