My Bus Journey

Having been lucky enough to go to the States for a few days, I thought I’d have some exceptional ‘me’ time. Well, I did have some ‘me’ time and it was ‘exceptional’, but not quite in the way I’d planned!

Detroit: the home of the motor car; the home of  GM and Henry Ford and that’s what the city promotes, and its great Motown music! As a city, it is poor, the only real sign of wealth is in the properties that once had belonged to wealthier times (quite grand, but very run down) and in the big business that has been brought in to the city as part of its re-generation programme. From a random visitor’s perspective, it doesn’t appear to have brought any real prosperity to real people. My foundation for saying this, other than that I am a random visitor? Read on…

On the Wednesday of my week, I boarded a bus (which took me the whole of the earlier part of the week to discover! See previous Blogs: ‘Michael’s Again’ and ‘Worth the Visit’)

Bus Station; Buses; Transit Center; Transit Centre;

Transit Center – Detroit

Apart from the bus driver, another lady, somewhat older than me, a couple of others and myself, I would have said that everyone else (numbering 30 or so) on that bus came from the more rundown areas surrounding the west side of the city, judging by the stops at which they alighted, but seriously not intending to be judgemental here, just observational.

Quite daunting, I feel some of you may be thinking, and as I sat down, I, myself, wondered if I had done the right thing. But here’s the story: Everyone was nicely settled on the bus. It was only a minute or so to departure, when an extremely inebriated man of around 50-ish got on. He ‘Ker-chinged his transfer (return) ticket and sat down. I had wondered whether the driver would have allowed him to ride but she did – for about a mile. One-sided ‘conversation’ began from this man, and within that short distance he had become hyper political, aggressively verbal, abusive to a poor woman, who had clearly looked at him the wrong way, and physically intimidating (he was no small chap!) The general conversation on that bus became a little animated, not only in individual general conversation, but in support of this poor ‘victim’ of the drunk’s verbal abuse. The friendliness and solidarity amongst so many complete strangers was like nothing I have ever witnessed before, and I felt strangely safe. One of the passengers posted this to You Tube. Take a look: YouTube        

Whilst this chap deserves to be ‘named and shamed’ it is not he who is actually my focus. My point is two-fold: Firstly, I will never judge anyone by the clothes they wear or where they live, and,secondly, I wanted to show you how tangible to camaraderie was on that bus. With all that love to share, there is no greater wealth. We should all take a leaf out of this book. Detroit, your people deserve more!