Tuesday, November 08, 2005

What is it about me?

I don't know what it is about me, perhaps I come off as being confident or that I know what I'm doing, I'm not sure, but I seem to be the "go to" person when it concerns BART.

Last week I was walking from my car to the station, when this maniac of a man drove through the stop sign at the pedestrian intersection as I was just about to walk across it. While I was giving him a dirty "pedestrian is very unhappy at his maniac driving" look, this lady in her car pulled up behind me. I figured she was just driving through the parking lot.

When I crossed the crosswalk, she pulled up right next to me and yelled, "Excuse me!!! Can I ask you something!!!?"

Since someone was just blatantly rude to me (maniac driver), I decided I should be friendly and stop and help her.

"Sure," I said as I walked to her car.

We then had a few minutes worth of confusing conversation regarding the parking at the BART station. I didn't get what she was saying when she kept telling me the spaces were "marked" (which they are) and she didn't know where to park. I thought she was talking about the reserved parking spaces in the back, where we basically were now, but it turns out "marked" meant "numbered," and I told her not to worry about it – just don't park in the reserved area with the signs.

She zoomed off.

Today, when I was on the escalator going up to the platform, I saw this Asian chick standing at the top and looking from one train to another. Bad news, I thought. Don't make any sort of eye contact, keep your head down and walk like you've never walked before.

When I got to the top, she had moved near the SF train. Where there were several people waiting for the doors to open. I mention this only because I don't get why what happened, happened. I walked to the front of the train, stopped at my usual door and proceeded to freeze while taking my iPOD out. For some reason when the cold weather hits, the train operators are less likely to open any train doors to let us on the train. It's some cold trick of theirs.

I glanced in the direction I just came, and I saw the Asian chick walking towards the front of the train, so I turned around quickly and stared off into space, hoping she wouldn't come over to me for whatever reason. It's not like the train door was open or anything. There was no reason for her to be coming over here.

About 5 seconds later, I feel repeated hard taps on my shoulder.

Guess who?

Yes, it was she.

I pulled out my earbuds and looked at her like, "what the heck do you want and why are you bugging me?" It's better to come across annoyed from the beginning because these are the kind of people that will stick with you if they get on the same train. Like you're their tour guide or you work for BART or something.

"Which train goes to Oakland?" she asked me.

"Both do."

"Excuse me, which train goes to Oakland?" she asked again and then pointed to the sign above us that stated SF/Daly City Train and then pointed to the other side that said "Richmond."

Now, I could have taken the easy route at this moment, but I don't get why she followed me, of all people. And especially me who was listening to music, which is the international sign for "don't start up a conversation with me because I'm not too friendly and don't liked to be bugged." So I thought I'd be annoying. Why not? She's pointing at signs like I don't know what I'm doing and obviously don't get her point that neither sign indicates the train goes to Oakland.

"They both go to Oakland," I said again and just stared at her. You'd think that if she were completely confused on which train to take, she'd ask the friendly station agent when she was downstairs. He's nice, he likes to talk to people. He's one of the few that actually stand outside the station agent box too seem approachable (and he is!). And he's always concerned when I don't use my Translink card.

She looked at me again like I was saying, "Blah blah, blah blah blah, Oakland, blah."

Then I realized that this could go on forever, and I would be forever stuck with her because she wasn't getting what I was trying to tell her. So it was either, figure this out for her and get her out of my sight, or continue to play the "both go to Oakland" game. Then I realized that not all trains go to the same Oakland stops. So if I told her to get on the SF train, and she needed to go to 12th Street, she'd have to transfer, and she may dump the responsibility of her getting on the correct train on me, which is something I did not want, so I had to ask her what station. If she said Coliseum, then we could continue the game until she realized I was evil and wasn't going to help her.

"Which station are you going to?" I asked.

"12th Street," she answered (good thing I asked).

"Oh, then take that train," and I pointed to the Richmond train hoping I was correct that Richmond goes through 12th Street. I knew SF didn't, but I couldn't remember about Richmond.

She looked at me like she wanted to believe me, but wasn't sure if she should, and said, "that train?"

I said yes. She thanked me.

Good riddance.

On a side note: Since I gave that maniac driving man my dirty look of pedestrian annoyance and he actually stared back at me instead of acting like he didn't know I was there, I think he remembered what I looked like. The next day he ended up walking in front of me towards the station, and he actually waited for me to get to the door so he could hold it open for me. Which then made me have to say "thank you" to him against my better wishes. Maybe I should have run in at full speed and knocked him over like he almost did to me in the parking lot.

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