I took a walk to the promenade today. 30 mins from my place. It was quite a while, but it was okay. I don't regret it because whenever I take a walk, I always run into interesting people. I always end up in a conversation with someone random. Today, it was with this bus driver named Romero on the Big Blue. On the way back to my place, I passed by some parked buses on the side of the road. One of them was completely empty and the other one was empty but had a driver. But the bus wasn't even running.
Times like these, when I'm about to do something I've never done before and don't know the protocol, I always force myself to just ask like there's nothing wrong with not knowing (because there isn't!). So I peeked in and asked "Are you not in operation?", and he said that he was but that he'd have to follow the schedule, and that the bus was leaving in 5 minutes. I stood there for a second, in front of the open bus door, like a kid in some Pixar movie, and I said, "I've never ridden a bus before around here." To which he said "You've never ridden a bus before? Then maybe you don't know where you're going! Where are you going?" So I told him where I was going and he said that I was on the right bus.
So we talked some more when I got inside. He's been driving the bus for 36 years. And he lives in Santa Clarita! That's where Valencia is. So I told him my life story, about how I was born there and how all my family is there. He was telling me about how you gotta love what you do if you're going to do it for this long, and he does. He loves driving and he likes people.
We talked the rest of the way, and before I got down, I shook his hand, told him it was nice to meet him and asked what his name was. Romero. And he's always on the 9 Line on weekdays. Told him it was nice to meet him and got off.
It's things like these that remind me of what I love most about living here. Little spurts of randomness. It's the simple things like this that makes me feel most alive.