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.

Mr. and Mrs. Fox

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I met Mr. Fox a Saturday ago. He was the bus driver who took my students to Philadelphia.

He pulled the long bus in front of the center right on time.

The parents, students and staff got excited when they saw the bus. It made going to Philadelphia a dream come true!

The bus is here!! One person called out and that created an even greater excitement.

The news ignited the crowd. I walked downstairs to check on the volunteers who were making sandwiches. I could hear the children upstairs talking excitedly about the big, big bus out side. Their feet running to look out the door.

I went upstairs to where everyone was waiting and addressed the crow: Mary Mitchell!!

Here we are!! They responded.

Good Morning and thanks for coming! As you already know, the bus is outside! By the time my speech was over, everyone stood up and began to aboard the bus.

When I walked on the bus, Mr. Fox turned to me and said, “So, you are the lady in charge.”

“Yes. I am.” I responded.

“What you got planed for today?”

This began our relationship and set the tone for our trip. His wife, Mrs. Fox was there and assisted me almost like a mother assists a daughter. Never in the way, encouraging and there for support.

Needless to say, we had a safe and very successful trip.

I can’t wait to use Entertainment Express¬†again!