Waiting for the Bus in Memphis

I woke up on Tuesday and decided I would take the bus across town. I had to plan carefully because my friend who drives everywhere was totally against my idea.

This is not New York. You don’t need to take the bus, I will drive you.

I know, but when you take the bus, you see a different side of the city!

We went back and forth and then I stopped talking about it.

I left her place to take the bus after she had went to work.

The bus stop did not have bus numbers so I  had to plan my trip to a tee: the time, the address and which stop to get off at. However, it did not work out as planned and in the end, I did not really know what bus I was waiting for. The only source of information that was found at the stop was the phone number to call the base, MATA, 910-523-8134, which I did call. But only got a recording.

Needless to say, the bus never came. NEVER. And, it started raining. I was standing at a bus stop without an umbrella nor a shelter.

What came were suspicious looking men driving their vehicles who offered to drive me. I had to say no or just act like I didn’t see them. And if they didn’t offer me a ride, they stared at me too long. While standing there I felt a feeling of embarrassment, like I was suppose to own a car. I felt really bad. A feeling I never feel in New York. I notice no one else was waiting for the bus. As a matter of fact, I looked around and saw very few people on the street (maybe because of the rain).

I made sure to make eye contact with very few people because every time I did, I felt humiliated. I wonder if people who can’t afford cars feel this way in Memphis? Yet, no one made fun of me or berated me. They just looked at me.

So, I started walking. I walked to the next stop and the next stop until I gave in and called my friend. I got to see another side of Memphis but I still want to take the city bus.

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