I went to a freelance gig the other day and have a new item to ponder in my life. You see, there are several buses that go through the main part of Chinatown in San Francisco. The 30 and 45 lines both have the same route when they reach that point and terminate down at the Caltrain station. I use them often and it never ceases to amaze me how full with Chinese they are. I mean, it is something you would expect seeing as how they go right through Chinatown, but they’re always packed. It doesn’t matter what time of the day, evening, or night you hop on, they’re always packed full, standing room only with Chinese. This is extremely weird seeing as how there is a bus every five minutes or so. How many Chinese people live there and why do they all need to take this route? This however is not the mystery at hand.
What has been plaguing me with oddness is that you can pick just about any time of the day to catch these buses and when you get on you’ll see a great number of ederly Chinese. The kids and adults don’t seem to ride it all that much. These large groups will nearly all get off at Market and 4th. While that makes some sense seeing as how it is downtown, if you go the opposite way, you’ll see them nearly all get off at Stockton and Columbus which is mighty weird seeing as how there are several stops before that which are much more central to Chinatown.
So, why are there all these ederly Chinese people riding from one stop to another at any point in the day? They’re retired right? Why do they all go at these different times and yet the bus is always freakin’ full?!! Do they have nothing else to do except ride from one end of Chinatown, down to Market and then get back on and ride up there again? I tell you, I’m at a loss. There are for certain some who have food in bags that isn’t quite to my, uh… olfactory palate which I’m glad to see get off as soon as they can, but for the most part, they’re very calm and just ride the bus.
The crowding is something to behold because some of them are pretty small and yet they fill up the whole bus. So weird.