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Alice Yang
Yang is a contributing columnist for the Fort Bend Star.
She is a student at Stephen F. Austin High School-FBISD.

This column expresses the personal opinions/views of the writer. If you would like to express your opinions/views regarding the column, write a SIGNED letter to the editor. Name can be withheld by request with a valid day time phone number.
Strangers in a strange land  

For three weeks now, Iíve been riding the metro to attend a downtown writing workshop.

The routine is the same everyday: Iíd drive to Stafford at the eye-cringing crack of 6:30 and the bus there takes me downtown. After the classes end at noon, I ride back to Stafford, drive my car home, and go to work at 2:00.

Each metro ride is an hour. So basically, back and forth, I have 2 hrs of sitting on the bus with nothing to do.

But of course, I donít just do nothing. I bring a magazine occasionally, and always my iPOD. But after a few days of undulating rock music and undulating sentences, my ears physically throb along with my brain.

So I started people-watching. The morning crowd is chic. Professionally primped for the workday, the men all have trousers and button-ups, the shine of their leather belts matching the shine of their leather shoes. The women have a little more variety; they wear dress suits or skirts, and the clicks of their heels give off an air of purpose.

Needless to say, I didnít fit. Dressed in jeans, a tee, and old sneakers, I was also armed with a dollar and ten cents worth of pennies from the dusty piggy at home for the bus fare. My daily uniform attracted annoyed eyes from the bus drivers and the bus riders alike.

However, the afternoon is a different story. Unlike the morning routine of taking the speedy HOV route of the highway, in the afternoon, the bus creaks along every single street downtown for about half an hour. But the quality of my people-watching is definitely better.

The crowd is more eclectic. A father with 3 children and an uncapped milk bottle. A scantily dressed woman holding a bible. A bevy of high school students attending summer programs at Rice. An old man wearing a soiled beige suit and fedora hat. And a curly-haired boy who draws.

They are the regulars, and I have fun imagining where they are going and where they are from. I know when they get on and where they get off and the side of the bus they sit.

The other day, I worked up the nerve to talk to one of them. The curly-haired boy who draws, he looked my age and I was intrigued at what objects on the bus were his models. I complimented his drawings, and we became friends. Now we sit together everyday, talking about everything ranging from school subjects to life philosophy.

Maybe I wonít see him again after the workshop is over. But for now, he is the cure of my bus boredom.

Yang is a contributing columnist for the Fort Bend Star. She is a student in FBISD.

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   Last Update:  September 07, 2006