Observing A City Bus Essay

1478 words - 6 pages

Background: Being a city bus, there seems to be about 50 or so seats, though some people prefer to stand if they are getting off rather quickly (about two or three stops). The space is more on the small side, but was not crowded at this moment and time due to the rain outside, which discourages people to take the bus. The most common objects are headphones, bus books, and smart phones with the passengers. The younger the rider, the more likely they are to have a smart phone unless they are with their parents. Old passengers tend to have books or are looking at the bus book.
Individuals and their activities on the bus:
1) Middle aged Caucasian woman, looks to be about 45. Dressed in a big black coat, sweats, and hair slicked back into a pony tail. She also has a flip phone and was talking loudly into it, something about her ex and child support. Got off downtown at 26th and Pacific Ave, though she was on the phone the entire time.
2) Two black teenage boys who are obviously friends. One was dressed up for an interview, his friend was dressed in a basketball jersey and jeans. Both of them got off at TCC. Kept conversations to a low level, until they started watching videos on one of their phones, which made them laugh out loud. I kind of want to see the video, but I know better than to get involved since I am observing.
3) Older Caucasian male, looks about 50. Dressed plainly, but looks uncomfortable the entire ride. Tries to strike up conversations on the bus whenever anyone sits near him, but gets a cold shoulder most of the time until he starts asking for directions. Also tried to ask people where he could get medical marijuana, but most of those conversations ended as quickly as they came up.
4) Young mother and her son and daughter. Daughter looks to be about five, son maybe around eight or so. Both children are well behaved, but the girl keeps trying to open up her umbrella. The mother is basically paying attention to texting, but smacks the daughter's hand every time she does something with the umbrella besides touch it. They rode along me the whole time.

Order of activities:
Most of these activities occurred right along each other, because as people were getting on and off the bus, I couldn't observe all of them at the same time, but in general, until they got off the bus, they tended to keep to themselves and continue doing what they were doing. Sometimes these individuals would stare out the window quietly, but ended up distracting themselves with their phones.

Expressions: Unless someone was interacting with another person, their body language reflected a more “do not bother me” or made just enough room for someone to sit next to them, but not to touch them. Some individuals would place their bags in the seat next to them, to stop people from sitting there and to keep their own space to themselves. People with kids would sit either in the very front or back of the bus.
Some body postures were more restrained, with people staring...

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