Hot weather breeds frustration. Not a new thing to note, but heat in the City can be torture. With a City surrounded by water, the heat takes on humidity which can make one feel submerged. The frustration tends to center more on public transit, as people are ferried to and from their destinations. The heat can demand on a person more patience than they are willing to give.
If anyone has ever ridden on the 38-Geary bus in San Francisco, it is indeed an exercise in patience. The dichotomies that are etched out as it passes through each borough, where the ride starts from the Financial District, where it passes through varied socio-economic neighborhoods until it reaches the last bus-stop at the edge of the world. But this is not about a sublime journey.
As I boarded the bus, a wall of heat pushed out past me. This breath, so rank and acrid, welcomed us as we boarded. The eyes of those on board were rapt in impatience, as I made my way toward the back. The smells of onions, garlic and cheese dominated the only available fresh air to breathe on this bus.
On Muni’s buses, there are so few ways to allow fresh air to enter into the bus. All windows are too small to allow air to enter and the centralized ventilation systems seem to never be employed. I stood next to a man who was disheveled from the heat. The brim of his hat was wilted and fit his head in a sloppy way. In the back of the bus, there were gathered Fillmore people and Inner Richmond people; Asians and Blacks, gathered at the back of the bus, sweating together.
It turned a tad ugly, as more people pushed into the bus from the back. Their outsider sweat intermingling with ours, as our impatience rose. These interlopers, holding up this hot bus as they attempt to board. No welcome respite, as another man enters, smelling of soured milk which stains his buttoned up short sleeve shirt.
In this hot bus, the frustration bred is one frustrated by budget cuts, and according to SFGate(2), a 10% cut. Yet our over-paid drivers becomes a bother to the riders who pay. What price is comfort? As I finally reached my stop with an empty bus, I found myself enduring this frustration, but hoping for a solution.