I was waiting for the bus at the New Paltz Trailways station on my way to Albany yesterday morning, a young guy, wearing a trendy grey scarf, carrying a smart backpack, eagle scout, outward bound pins all over says to me, “Is this the bus for New York?” (I thought, here we go again). I reply, “No, I’m waiting for the bus to Albany; they look the same! You gotta read the sign in the front of the bus”.
“Oh, he says”.
“It would be easier if we had a coherent sign and schedule information system, and if we had an integrated transportation network, like other civilized countries have- confusion would not be a problem”, I declared, thinking; this will throw him off!
He thinks for a moment, (more like a 2 minutes) and he says, “Well, you see, we live in America, we drive cars, because they are an expression of our individuality! “I may be young, so my opinions may be different, but if we had integrated transportation, we have to pay more taxes and it would cost money”. “When I go out with my parents, I’m the first to volunteer to drive”.
“Ah”, I replied, “You know, the Germans, they love their cars more than we do; yet they have integrated transportation, and they take walks in the forest every Sunday morning”.
So, today, I’m on my way back, and I see this guy, sitting on ‘the king seat’, for you theatre majors (notice the fastidiously correct spelling). He’s wearing a feather on his head…on the bus!
That, dear boy, is an expression of one’s individuality!