When Women Rule the World: what I learned on the 1 California

Not Connie Chung, but still

Not Connie Chung, but still

I was on the 1 California with my younger sister and cousin when a man wearing his Army uniform came to sit next to us. It’s such a beautiful day, he said, too bad the economy is in the dumps. We laugh and agree. Then he said:

“But you guys, you will do fine, women make better decisions! This bad stuff wouldn’t happen if women ran the world, you know, like Hillary Clinton. Also, I like that Connie Chung too.”

Not missing a beat, my sister said:

“Isn’t Connie Chung busy having babies with Maury Povich?”

no comprende?

As a word nerd, as well as a recent visitor to a handful of foreign countries, odd sentence construction is one of the biggest WTFs you can come across if you’re not entirely fluent in a language; even if you speak a fairly decent textbook version thereof.

But I mostly write this tale as a woman, horrified by a man’s conversational skills on a moving vehicle, where everyone can (unfortunately) hear every word of his awkward conversation with two girls from Switzerland.

It’s good to be home.

Let me start the tale of awkwardness by explaining the body language in this situation, for which I fully craned my neck to get a gander at. Two girls, maybe 20, but probably younger, were standing on a crowded bus, chatting among themselves. A man, who was probably around 30, was standing behind them, attempting over (and over) again to engage them in conversation. I think we all know that it’s a bad sign when the object of your conversational interest: 1) doesn’t ask you a single question back, or 2) only turns around to face you when you ask one of your many questions.

But off he went anyway. Here’s a sampling:

Guy: So what goes on in Switzerland?
Swiss girls: What?
Guy: What do you do there? Like, for fun?

Commentary: “What’s going on?” is a very oddly worded phrase on its own. Turn it around like the way he did, to people who aren’t fluent in English, and you get this.

There’s a reason foreign English is funny; we never say things like “The reason for this is because…” unless we’re directly translating from another language. So a phrase like “What’s going on?” definitely loses something in the translation.

Guy: So there are a lot of mountains and stuff in Switzerland?
Swiss girls: Um, yes. Many mountains.

Commentary: Clutching at straws then, aren’t we? This kind of question is always the low point, on whatever end of the conversation you’re on. I personally ask questions like this when I don’t like someone, but am forced to be in their company, or am horribly uncomfortable.

But he continues with the kicker!

Guy: So, how old are you girls? 15? 16? 17?
Swiss girl 1: What’s the saying? You don’t ask a woman her age?
Guy: Nah, that’s only for women in their 30s!

Commentary: Good answer from the girls, and probably a good indication that they spoke better English than they first let on. Also, you’re a creepy asshole if you look anywhere near the vicinity of 30 (or older) and ask such a question. You then earn more creepy points for denouncing the statement as something for women…in your own age group.

Everyone eventually got off the bus, leaving me to stew in their residual cloud of awkward.

Yeah, it’s good to be home.

Tara Ramroop has only been let down a handful of times by Muni in the week since she’s been back. Progress?

Muni Diaries on the town!

with the ladies of Muni Manners

with the ladies of Muni Manners

We here at Muni Diaries had a blast at CBS5’s local blogger party last night! We felt so warm and cozy among new friends whose blogs we have admired from afar. We met CBS5’s lovely Brittney Gilbert, author of Eye On Blogs, who was so gracious to bring all of us bloggers together. And boy, does CBS5 know how to throw a soirée (three words: bacon deviled eggs).

If you’ve checked out our blogroll before, you know that there are some excellent transit-related blogs in San Francisco. Last night we met the ever-observant Rachel of Fog City Notes – check out her cross-town reports. And we finally put a friendly face to Greg at N-Judah Chronicles, a blog of which we are all big fans. We also got some face time with the Transbay Blog, SF Ordinary Girl, and the delicious Canyon of Cheese.

And for the moment you have all been waiting for: we met the ladies of Muni Manners! I was in mid conversation about the awesomeness of Muni Diaries when Suzanne nudged me and whispered, “There! Muni Manners!” The impeccably mannered Julie and Angelie bonded with us over the craziness of the 47 line and our collective co-dependent relationship with Muni.

Happy Friday and happy riding!

Muni Hookups on Craigslist

So you’re sitting on the bus and you spot a hottie sitting across from you, what do you do? If you’re a bunch of “suits” on the 41, looks like the thing to do is to stare at the said attractive woman shamelessly and then apologize for it! I found this hilarious post on Craigslist’s Missed Connections section:

Woman on the 41, jeans, sweater, too much attention

So you got on the bus somewhere on union today, you sat facing forward, the suits with their blackberries and the awkward stares filled the back of the bus, 9 old guys trying to catch a glimpse of you. my buddy and i had our backs to you and could not stop laughing watching these guys. the best was when you got off the bus and walked into the old jamba juice, full floor to ceiling glass, looked back and caught the ENTIRE group of dudes staring… so for two of us, we apologize. You are extremely beautiful and the staring was intense, but still pretty funny.

Thanks.

Lovelorn Muni riders have also posted for the dark hair beauty on N-Judah, the intense blonde on the 44, and a hoodie-wearing guy again on the N (hmmm is the N the hottest line in the Muni system?).

Do you have a Muni missed connection?

p.s. Don’t ask me why I’m reading the Craigslist Missed Connection section! I’m doing it for the greater good of Muni riders!

Love on the J Train

I am always surprised at what people will do to try to find love (or just lust, depending on your needs) on Muni. Yesterday I was on the J train and overheard this successful attempt at getting a date.

Cast of characters:

Romeo (man wearing a newsboy cap, sunglasses – even though it was at night – and standing…no, leaning casually against the back of the train)

Juliet (young woman wearing a cute white track jacket, heading to Dolores Park)

Me (you know, creepily pretending to read my newspaper while eavesdropping for Muni Diaries)

The Hit:

Romeo: Hey so you’re in school, huh? Yeah, me too, i mean, I am in transition. I am in the film industry.

Juliet: Oh what kind of film do you make?

Romeo: Well, I will be making films as soon as the lawsuit is over.

Juliet: Lawsuit?

Romeo: Yes, with a former employer. Over employment issues. God, total assholes. But as soon as that is over, I can use the money from the lawsuit to transition into my art. Hey do you want to go to dinner or lunch some time?

Much much to my surprise, Juliet takes out her phone and gives him her number, takes down his number and gets off the train. They are having lunch tonight if I overheard right. Aaaah love is in the air. But geez am I too much of a cynic to hope that she gave him a fake number?

Outside Lands Update: Bike It

Muni hasn’t gotten any better with providing enough transportation for big events. After last night’s Outside Lands show, Muni was jammed. As with Bay to Breakers and any Giants’ game, Muni couldn’t keep up with the crowd overflow. At least three full buses passed me without stopping. Meanwhile, people continued to flock the stops.

Muni promised extra services on the 5, 71, and N lines for the three-day event.  To see the full pre- and post-concert travel schedule, including tips for best stops, visit MTA’s Outside Lands page. But there’s really no bother. I ended up walking three miles to get home.

If you’re going to the concert, the best way to travel is by bike.

-Jenny

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