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The Bus Ride
A Thumbnail of Dr. Mona Minkara's image Mona Minkara - February 05, 2016
An image of a red bus in front of a large stone building.

When I first moved to Gainesville I had no friends. Yep. No friends. 

But what I had was a plan. I had to figure out ways to have fun by myself. It was the first Sunday after I just moved. I was curious about where this particular bus that came by my apartment complex went. It was line #75, and I had never taken it because I only took line #12 to school every day. 

This was my first adventure. Early on Saturday morning, I headed out to wait at the bus stop for the #75. As I hopped on, I leapt a bound of excitement, not knowing where I would end up. I found a seat in the back! That is where I love sitting, as it’s the best place on the bus;  the seats jump going over bumps in the road and it reminds me of rollercoasters— one of my other favorite things in life. The bus pulled away from the curb and my ride began. I put in my headphones, opened the window just a crack, and leaned my head against the window, feeling the sun against my face. The breeze on my face, music in my ears, and, most importantly, the bumpy journey made for the perfect ride. I can’t describe how happy I was.

Even though I had no friends.

An entire hour had passed, and we had looped around the entire route. Slowly, the bus stopped. At this point, I take of my headphones, trying to figure out my surroundings, when I hear the bus driver, “Ma’am. Ma’am?” I was confused. Why was he talking to me? “Who? Me?”

“Are you lost?” he asked, voice full of concern, but it didn’t matter to me. “No, why?”

“Ma’am, you’ve been on the bus for the entire route.” 


“Oh! Well I’m just riding the bus for fun.”

“Huh?? Really?”

“Yep!” I replied briskly. 

The driver was entirely perplexed, but he let me be and I was able to enjoy the ride back to my apartment listening to my music, breathing in the scenery,  and feeling the warm, scented breeze on my face. From this point on, I repeatedly took bus rides for fun so much that bus drivers on the #12 and #75 started to know me by name. They would even say hello and even ask me if I was enjoying my bus rides. When I think of Gainesville, those bus rides are part of what I miss most.