Riding a bus to work everyday is economical but seemingly degrading. When I wait patiently at the bus stop those driving by in their luxury havens give me looks that blatantly carry judgment and yes, I’m being looked down upon. That is the reality of this city, people partly measure themselves according to how much more they have above the rest. It’s good to have money, its such a wonderful and rewarding achievement but it becomes a major problem when its imposed on people that haven’t had the same fortune. The resilient people that walk around with scars on their spirits. Its been hard for them but they still wake up in the morning and make sure they survive yet another day. These are one kind of survivors, the other kind are those that have toiled tirelessly to reach the pinnacle in their lives. The ambitious, hard working, brilliant-minded individuals that are humbling to watch and have a desire to see other people succeed. They drive in their cars indifferent to the power dynamics but still hugely mindful to the fact that there are people that need help in the world. These are real people, people with souls and people that know how to live.
So these are the sort of things I see and think about while sitting by the window on the bus. The 2 hour ride consists of either these gushing thoughts, trying to finish reading the Mail&Guardian or a novel. Its fun. My blue Conquest stays parked in the garage at home, resting and my pockets accumulate a little bit more money that I save from not spending on petrol every day. Its good because then I’m able to save for meaningful things such as that trip to Malawi in October.
Riding the bus is not degrading actually, its empowering. The people that climb on everyday are the ordinary people who are so full of life. Most of them get out of bed at 4am, are at the bus stop by 5.30am, on the bus by 5.45 and at work between 7am and 8am. They sleep almost the entire time and will probably arrive at work already exhausted but they work. They have families to support so they work. The unemployment rate in the country is alarmingly high and people hold on tightly to the jobs they currently have so they work, and they work real hard.
I sit on the window seat because it gives me easier access to the window when it gets quite stuffy, the kind of stuffiness that suffocates. The mild morning sun hits my face and fills me with life of a brand new day. The bus drives out of the dusky townships into the clean and crisp surburbs. I often stare at the many mansions beautifully framed by majestic trees and manicured gardens. High walls and security fences dont do this beauty justice though. I look at these and I dream. I look at these and I’m compelled to work hard. I look at these and I think of my future family and the kind of life I want my children to have. I dont want them to experience hardship while growing up but I want them to experience the essence of life. I want them to know that only hard work will built their lives. Its not easy. But its good to dream.
Its even better to dream big and its the ultimate when those dreams are materialised. So I sit at the window and I formulate plans. I write them down and I work daily on them. I’m becoming accustomed to continuous work that defines success. I’m a simple girl but mediocrity isnt my thing, I wish to aim for things beyond my imaginings.
Taking a bus makes me even more humble. Takes me to the level of people that have a real hunger for life. So I sit by the window and look out at the world, observing its splendour, its mundaness, its harshness, its realness.
Its actually not bad at all, its pretty simple, riding a bus is a pleasure that takes me away from the exhaustion of driving. Thats mostly why I like it..