I was thinking about writing this entry yesterday, but couldn't manage the time to do so. Nevertheless, it would be really wrong if I did not write about this at all. So, let's give this time for a remarkable experience of me at the bus yesterday.
As usual, I was coming home after long day of work and college. I got on the bus. Just after I sat down, I noticed that the bus driver was saying something on the microphone. He was saying something before as well, but I didn't pay attention while I was swiping my Metrocard. As the bus was passing by St. John's University, the driver was telling the passengers that we are passing by St. John's University which was established in 1870 (which I myself don't usually remember as a student). Then he went on to say some little history of the university. He also added that the university's basketball, baseball and football are one of the top in the college division. As he was telling all this, I was totally astonished that how much this bus driver knows about the university that I myself don't know as a student.
Then, as he passed by Hillside Avenue, Homelawn Street, he went on to say why the names came about for these streets, avenues etc. The passengers all seemed quite surprised as I guess, he had been telling them history of the roads, what passengers are passing by throughout the whole bus trip.
Even when we passed by local DMV office and Dept. of Labor office where there is a Work Force station to recruit unemployed people to work or provide job training, he went on to let passengers know that this is a great service that people can get if they are unemployed or if they know someone who is unemployed in this terrible recession time. He added that if we don't tell someone who is unemployed then, we are basically committing a crime of not letting someone know a valuable information. The way he remarked about this, he touched someone, that he went up to him asked to repeat the name of the office where exactly in the tall building their office is located. This really turned me on.
Later, someone asked him where did the bus driver graduated from since he is aware of many things that an average person is totally ignorant of. He remarked that he has a degree in "bustology" (meaning the study of bus operations). He also said that people don't know how to the greet the bus driver when they get on the bus, or they don't show respect to the bus driver by calling him/her "bus operator" instead of "bus driver" which degrades their values because they, in fact, operate the bus by telling what's the next stop will be or such (as far I can see not many does that nowadays, but some like him do) rather than just plainly driving the bus.
At the end, when people were getting off, one passenger thanked him by saying that she had a great entertaining afternoon because of him. Not any passenger got off from the back door of the bus, avoiding to thank him. At the last stop where I got off, every passenger said something to him, either thanking him or wishing him "Happy Halloween" or something like that.
It was totally a ironic experience to me as I usually see tension between passengers and bus operators as a regular bus passenger. Even more interesting was that this man held the microphone all the time to speak to the passengers while he was driving the bus to keep entertaining and letting passengers know a lot about their city and such. I don't know if he does the same when he drives in the morning rush hours, but I must admit that this was one of the experience that I know that not an everyday person would experience on a daily basis. And that man was surely "one in a million bus operator"!