Thursday, January 24, 2008

And the Faux Pas Continue...

I trip over a handicapped woman!

And that's not even the worst of it. Riding the bus home, I become painfully aware that I am not yet a native and still have no idea how this whole public transit thing works.

What I do know is that the center-facing seats at the front of the bus are for the elderly or disabled. I'm all over that shiznit. But it might surprise you to know that the first row of front-facing seats is ALSO for the elderly or disabled. Even though it's really more towards the middle of the bus. And a dumb rule.

I'm minding my own business in one of the center-facing seats on a crowded bus when a woman in a wheelchair gets on. Thinking, "DISABLED!" I quickly move to the first row of forward-facing seats. I'm not sure how, exactly, I thought she was going to complete her trip - in the middle of the aisle? Lock down those wheels and ride, baby, ride?

She looks at me and calmly says, "You need to move."

Panicking, because I had just moved and had no idea where else I should go, I scoot to the outer of the two seats, closer to the aisle. Maybe she can scoot in beside me?

"No," she says, gesturing to the whole first row. "I need to sit THERE."

Jumping up, horrified that I was making this handicapped woman's life even more difficult, I scramble to find another seat. And trip over her wheelchair.

Catching myself just before I take a complete nose dive, and suitably mortified, I take the only other seat available, across the aisle in yet another center-facing seat.

"That was the handicapped seat," says the man next to me, righteously. BECAUSE AT THAT POINT, IT WASN'T CLEAR.

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