I ride the bus to work if I don’t cycle (which is more often the case than it should be…but anyhow) and I’ve lived in the same neighborhood long enough to recognize quite a few of the regular riders. Unlike a large part of the bus riding population, I prefer to enjoy the sights and sounds of bus riding and do not wear ear buds or tap-tap-tap away on my mobile device. Because I’m actually being present while riding the bus, I also know which stops people get on and off at. It sounds a bit creepy, I know, but I also know that I’m not alone in admitting this. Sometimes we acknowledge each other with a smile or a hello but other times there’s no recognition.
What is awkward is seeing these fellow bus riders elsewhere in life…outside the bus setting. I see them every day in their commute but is it weird saying hello to them? Sometimes I feel a slight urge to have a conversation with them, maybe even introduce myself…but I don’t because I don’t want to come off as being invasive. So I just smile if they see me. And most times they smile back, but I’m not sure if they smile to be polite or because they’re acknowledging recognition.