Monday, January 08, 2007

The Smells On The Bus Go Round And Round

There are all kinds of people that ride the bus. It's like another world of etiquette and behavioral patterns (I'll post more on these at a later date). For the most part, my bus route consists mostly of the mom & pop type. Occasionally we get a rouge rider to mix things up, but that happens very rarely.

Being in close quarters with a lot of strangers for a significant period of time is always... interesting. Most recently my focus has been on the smells lurking about the bus.

My stop is one of the first, which means I always get stuck in the window seat, leaving the option open to anyone to sit by you. I pray every day that I get a normal person without a pungent aroma and that doesn't smush me, because being a window rider, the choice is theirs, not yours.

For awhile my seatmate ended up being a
lovely woman who was pleasant, and pleasant smelling (meaning no smells at all), and that didn't elbow me the whole ride. Then I got stuck with a lady who smelled strongly of strawberries and glue. She was still a good seatmate and provided me with a lot of hours of imagining why someone would smell like strawberries and glue. Then as fate would have it, my longest running seatmate ended up being a lady with 2 large bags that liked to shove them all on my lap and jostle them around throughout the whole ride. It's tolerable if your ride is like 10 minutes, but for 45 minutes, I was ready to shake her. Then the smell hit me. Well, the first smell did at least. She smelled very strongly of cough drops and not the candied Luden's type. It was more like the everlasting coughdrop with the full dose of cough syrup in the middle type smell. She must've popped the whole bag in her mouth before she got on the bus the way it smelled, but surprisingly she didn't have anything in her mouth... odd. As I sat there trying not to feel ill, the second smell hit me. Underneath all that eucalyptus alcohol smell, was nursing home smell. You know what I'm talking about. The smell that only happens when invalid people are resting in their beds so long that nothing can get that odor out. So I think, okay so maybe she's been sick and bed-ridden. That would explain both of the smells (though she never once coughed, and also never consumed a cough drop, yet the smell lingered on). But now as I'm approaching a full two weeks with my odorific seatmate, I'm starting to wonder...

I now welcome any other smell. I
stick my nose in my delicious hazelnut coffee the whole ride. And when it ended up leaking all over everything in my purse and my entire lap, I welcomed the smell. I welcomed it so much that I didn't realize that it had oozed all over me until about 30 minutes later. I now lean forward instead of cringing when the toddler in front of me brings out bananas. I look for strawberry glue lady, but I can't remember what she looks like.

I wonder if
this would be too obvious?


hammerswing75 said...

I'm fortunate that my ride is only 20 minutes. I love the window seat because I can scrunch myself against the wall to avoid touching somebody instead of hanging in the space over the aisle. I can't stand being rubbed up against by strangers!

My sense of smell must be lousy because I only notice homeless and/or drunk people.

Missy said...

fond fond memories of the busses in minneapolis/st. paul. i am glad it is going well so far. they key is just to snif the coffee all the time..

Rachel Irene said...

hammerswing - I envy your sense of smell... or lack thereof