16. Pigeons & trams

Often when I’m on the tram I find my mind starts to wander. This isn’t unusual – as the saying goes, people get their best ideas in bed, on the bus or in the bath.

I often find myself wondering at tram users, why they wore those shoes, if they’re on their way to work, etc. But most often, if they’re present, my mind is preoccupied by young kids on the tram. They think public transit is the coolest thing – like an amusement ride that mom and dad don’t have to drive.

I often think about how I took the bus to the Ottawa School of Art with my dad. I the summer, I would get up early with him and ‘go to work,’ following his regular routine, which often included taking the bus. I remember he would take up the front seat with a big window beside the driver – these seats don’t exist on new buses – and we could watch the transit way together and he’d point out landmarks. I remember coming home on buses with stairs and pink plastic seats that weren’t air conditioned, and groaning as the wave of heat hit my face.

I remember, once, dad and I were traveling in the morning and a pigeon collided with the top of the bus. All the adults around me chuckling in mild horror, me oblivious. I remember there were feathers at the top of the bus and dad shaking trying not to laugh.

So I like the rumbling and warmth from trams, trains and buses. Which is good, because in my current life, I have to take a lot of them.

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