Monday, April 22, 2013

If You Ride the Bus...

Today's college town bus...

You are in for a treat. 

University of Michigan Bus
is free for campus transportation.
If you visit, you'll see why a bus system
is needed to get students to classes
and back to their homes for this large campus.
I went to the University of Michigan campus and spent the day with my college daughter. She swiped her card to pay for her fare and I pressed my coins into the meter. We plunked down in the first available seats, I chose to sit sideways to watch the action.

Easily ninety percent of the passengers either spent their time texting, surfing the net, or talking on their phones. A few International students chatted in their common language. the remaining passengers stared blankly out the window. The bus driver must have been instructed not to speak to anyone--or else he couldn't speak English.

Needless to say, I could have been anywhere in the world and experienced the same thing. 

I found it exciting.

The closer we came to the center of the campus (a good twenty minute ride), the more passengers boarded without any getting off. The sardine situation remain silent except for international voices. No English.

Body language communicated volumes. 

People slid over to let someone else sit, some shifted farther down the aisle to let others step past the yellow line, and a few nodded. But that was it. No English.

So you see, for $1.50 I was able to go to a foreign country and receive a cultural experience and didn't need a visa, airport security, special shots, or reservations.

I loved stepping into a cultural transport, especially since I didn't have to be anywhere. I boarded the bus when my daughter did and stepped off when she did. 

Have you stepped out of your typical piece of the world. Something as simple as walking in front of or behind a crowd of people you wouldn't normally find in your neighborhood would give the same affect.

When you found yourself in the situation, what did you feel like? A little excited but uncomfortable? Curious what the others said even though you heard the words (even American dialects can throw some of us for a loop)? Unsure of what to do next?


Janice said...

Yesterday for children's Sunday School we set up tables outside for bread (muffins), fish sticks, and juice for breakfast with Jesus. We put out a sand colored blanket to sit on and blue beach towels for the ocean. Since we never do the class outside it was a treat. But the surprise for us was that we were by the entrance to the church which one of our church plants uses. They are mostly refugees from a distant land who do not speak our language. They are new in our church building, and we were able to greet them once we realized who they were. Part of our lesson was about when Jesus tells Peter to, "Feed my sheep." If we do this type activity again, we will need to bring extra food and juice for these new friends, some of Jesus' sheep. We can share food even if we don't share the same language. We went outside, and it was like going across the globe!

Mary Vee Writer said...

What a fantastic experience. So way more than you expected. This is one for the memory journal. Please let us know if you do it again and what happened.