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Teaching English and Art together, putting on the GospelCafé concerts, prayer, meeting with our new French friends. It's a good life!

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Monday, March 26, 2012

First Confrontation!

Late last week I was cussed out by a bus driver for pushing the "Arrêt Demandé" (Stop, Please) button one stop too early. I had confused the stops and for some inexplicable reason it so angered the bus driver he refused to pull away from the curb and began shouting at me, waving his arms and making it quite clear what he thought of me. I tried to apologize but he would have none of it. I thought for a moment he was going to go so far as to make me get off the bus. 
     Another passenger, disheveled, unshaven and bleary eyed, lent his own muttered abuse to the situation. Most of the passengers either tried to remain invisible or smiled sheepishly at me as if to say, "Oh, well." He finally pulled away and rolled to the next stop, still yelling, gesticulating and making rude hand gestures. Someone else got off at my stop so I made haste to depart as meekly as possible for fear the door would shut before I could leap to safety. I walked to about thirty feet ahead of the bus and glanced over my shoulder only to discover the driver still going at it. The bus just sat there as he continued to scold me. 
     I finally turned around, held my hands out to my side, palms up in supplication—bowed, and for the final time said, "What can I do? I'm sorry." I then turned and walked away. I'm sure he couldn't here the, "So sue me!" that slipped out as the bus roared past.
     The whole scene embarrassed me more than angered me, and as I walked to my destination the ridiculousness of the situation got the better of me. I'm still laughing about it.
     It does make one wonder what really caused that whole scene. What was at the core of such a public display? I will probably never know. You can be sure I'll watch my stops a little more carefully in the future.   —Russell

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