Immigrant Life

“Running” Woman

Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Tuesday January 22, 2013. Temperature: -21 degrees Celsius (-5.8 degrees Farenheit). Yours truly: en route from point A to point B, on foot, all layered up as advised by the morning news, including my version of snow boots:

photo

So, en route on foot, I spot the very bus I need. It’s closer to the bus stop than I am. What to do? Run, of course! I run and run and catch the bus in ample time. Whew.

Mr. Bus Driver: a grandfatherly type of African extraction.

I’m digging for my bus pass. He looks extremely serious, says:

“I have a question for you. Finish what you’re doing, then I have a question for you.”

I run the events of the past few minutes through my head. What did I do? I feel like I’ve been caught cheating or vandalizing school property or something.

I find and flash my bus pass. He waves it away.

Deadpan, he says:

“Were you running?”

I burst out laughing. I get it.

You know those little tippytoe steps that make one think of geishas in wooden platform shoes? Now speed them up by about half a second. Add snow, ice, and 3 inch wedge heel boots. Yours truly. Or maybe a ballerina describes it better. Yeah, a ballerina on tippytoes skipping in mini-steps.

Between falling on my ass in the snow from a temporary height of 5 feet 9 inches, and walking for 15 minutes in -21 weather without windchill, I was more terrified of the former. What to do?

“Run”, of course!

We bantered about my so-called running. I insisted that of course I don’t normally run like that, my intention wasn’t so much to catch the bus as to have him notice that I was trying to catch the bus and therefore “not leave me behind.”

He’d love to race me, he says. Har har.

Isn’t that what anybody does when they “run” for the bus? Simulate the action of running accurately enough so that the bus driver will notice him/her and take pity? By which logic, those evil bus drivers who pull off even as you are doing a very convincing performance of “running for the bus” must be running snobs.

Yeah well I don’t pull out the real run for anything less than Olympic gold baby, that’s how we Ethiopians do!

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