Saturday, April 22, 2006

Saturday, Saturday

I had a very nice day today, out and about.

About nine this morning I rode my bike to the bank and then to the bike shop. It needed a new back wheel. I left it at the shop and took the bus to Fort Lauderdale.

Beautiful weather, in the 80's, slightly overcast early, clearing by ten o'clock.

On the bus, first a woman got on with hospital bracelets and all her personal effects in plastic bags. Another passenger asked her if she had been in for an operation and she answered, no, she had been in the psychiatric ward. Slightly awkward pause, then the other person asked whether it was a nice hospital and they chatted for a few minutes. I helped her with her bus route planning--she needed to get off at Oakland Park Blvd. and change to the 72, I gave her a route map and showed her where the 72 goes.

Then, a homeless guy behind me went up and had an earnest conversation with the driver; when he came back he asked for a dollar from the woman who had been chatting with the mental patient. She told him no. He sat back down. I turned around and gave him a dollar. Then he was my new best friend. Shook my hand about four times, gave me some advice about my hairstyle. Wished me good health and long life, and so on. Meanwhile, a German tourist across the aisle was worried about missing the stop for Galeria Mall, so I advised her, and so did the homeless guy. He told her where to get off to walk to the mall, but the bus driver told her to stay on. He took her farther away to a place where she could connect with another bus to take her to the mall. It was a judgment call. I think, being German and in good health, she would have preferred to walk rather than wait for another bus. It's what I would have done and it's what the homeless guy would have done. Who knows.

I went to the library, was very efficient in finding the exact article I wanted for my Tropic magazine website (still a work in progress).

Walked down Las Olas, had lunch at The Floridian Restaurant (known by those "in the know" as "The Flo'"). Sat next to a family with three kids. The parents ordered healthy food for themselves (turkey wrap, turkey platter) but for the kids, hot dog, grilled cheese, chocolate milkshake, ack! I am horrified by this aspect of American culture.

Continued down Las Olas, caught the #11 bus, which goes along the beach. I felt like I was on vacation, looking out the window at the waves and sand and all the relaxed sunbathers.

Picked up my bike, pedaled home. Great day.


TBG said...

Karen... sounds like a wonderful day. A day that brings lots of interaction with strangers (for lack of a better word) is a good day, I think. Especially when you feel like you've helped folks--or see other people help folks. Sounds like you smiled a lot today. Good stuff.


yellojkt said...

Las Olas is a very cool place to eat. Sounds like you had a great day.

Karen said...

TBG: I agree. I am naturally a loner, but always feel better about my day if I've had some interaction.

I like riding the bus because people on the bus are more community-minded--there's a sense of everybody being in it together. The other day my bike had a flat and I rode the bus to work. It was crowded with working people at 6 a.m. Those are the real hard-working people that keep this country going, not the pampered, SUV-driving "executives".

yj: Yes, there are a lot of nice restaurants on Las Olas. Many of them were either too crowded or too snobby for me, especially being on my own. The Flo' is a special case--the atmosphere is more like Melbourne than South Beach. When I went up to the cashier to pay, the lady said in a friendly but no-nonsense voice: "Cash or American Express only. There's an ATM behind you." My kind of place.

General comment: if you haven't clicked on Artist Alice lately, she had a funny entry today.

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