Bus Passenger Believes She Lives In World Where Curried Shrimp Is Odorless

Photo by Flickr user Thomas Hawk

While trolling America’s most trusted news source, The Onion, this headline leaped straight into my retinas (and my nose, and my grossly accurate smell memory):

Bus Passenger Believes She Lives In World Where Curried Shrimp Is Odorless

It’s not just curried shrimp for us Muni riders, of course. It’s fried chicken with a tinge of formaldehyde on the 71. It’s your neighbor’s unbecoming new scent, “hot yoga studio but filled w hippies+Mexi food+used diapers,” on the 1. Just as easily, Muni smells like hot-dog juice, fertilizer, week-old pants, or pancakes (AKA the worst breakfast ever).

“Muni totally smells like” is one of our favorite Twitter themes, and it can often make one hell of a story. Send that stuff our way @munidiaries on Twitter or to good ol’ email at muni.diaries.sf@gmail.com

Rude Surprise for Tourists on Muni

Photo by Aaron

Renee over at KFOG had quite a surprise when she took some visitors on the F over the weekend.

It was a beautiful day in San Francisco last Saturday. I had been showing my relatives from Vienna, Austria around and we hopped on the F Line. We took the back row and there were a few Swiss kids sitting near us when a man took a seat, a little to close to me and started showing us a small bulb-like thing that looked like a Christmas ornament.

He said, “This is a crackpipe. Look.” and proceeded to light the thing and smoke the residue on the F-Line.


Needless to say I lost my shit with him. When I did, the man said, “Why are you even talking to me if you don’t have money to give me?”

Whoa. Sassy crack guy. How do you explain this to tourists (or kids, for that matter) on Muni? Comment away, or tell us your Muni story.

Violated on Muni

Smelly Feet
Photo by julesreyes

Have you ever been harassed on the bus? You’d think that after the Muni Humper, people would learn. Not so much. Recently we received a report from Stella, who found some really suspicious bad behavior on the 8X-Bayshore Express.

“I was sitting on the single seats on the 8X and a man got on the bus and held the pole next to my seat…the bus makes a small turn and the man leans toward me and brushes my arm with his hand. I mean this might be understandable if it was a wide turn and if we were going pretty fast, but the bus was not. The 8X is typically a crowded bus and as a non-confrontational person, I didn’t accuse him of anything just yet. So after that I turned my head in his direction and he was staring down at me.

He was a middle age bald man with a big gut wearing a blue polo shirt. He didn’t touch me again till the next small turn. He was clearly exaggerating the impact of the turn. I was fed up with this pervert. You may think I am over-reacting to this someone touching my arm on the bus, well this is not the worst I’ve experience or seen.

I’ve talked to people about this happening and they tell me not to start anything with the guy for my own safety in case he has a weapon or might follow me home. This infuriates me that I can’t do anything about it.”

Personal spaces might be tighter on the bus but that’s no excuse if this man is brushing against Stella on purpose.

Over the weekend I was on a fairly empty 49-Van Ness and a guy decided to sit next to me and promptly “fall asleep,” resting his arm on my hips several times. At first I wasn’t completely sure that he was doing this on purpose, but after the fourth time I had enough and got up to get to the next seat. Like Stella, I found it infuriating and frustrating.

I’ve read that in other countries there are women-only passenger cars just to prevent groping. Not that groping is limited to female victims alone.

Ladies (and gents), weigh in: Has this happened to you? If so, how do you deal with it?

Let’s Play ‘What’s Grosser?’

Image by Flickr user muilak

Rachael posted an interesting question on the Muni Diaries Facebook Page yesterday:

Maybe I’m weird about germs but to me walking around barefoot is no more/less gross than touching everything on the bus then sitting down to eat a sandwich. Why do people eat on Muni?

Which led me to wonder which was actually grosser. I haven’t decided yet, but I’ve probably spent too much time thinking about it already.

The floor is just plain grody. I’ve let bare legs and bare hands touch seats and rails before even thinking about putting a bag on the floor. I think we can agree that the chicken and formaldehyde combo platter is an appetite-killer for all involved. But Muni riders snack on food that isn’t stuck to the window all the time, and it doesn’t always bother me. That said, we use our bare hands to eat, sometimes before washing our hands when we’re late to dinner and about to eat a limb for sustenance. OK, maybe by we, I mean me.

But, which is worse? Barefoot riding or eating while riding?

Journeys Along the Red River

Despite the presence of many, probably wet groceries on the 8BX, I immediately thought this liquid coming toward me was urine. I didn’t immediately catch that it, advancing slowly in my periphery, was reddish. And you really can’t blame me after this. Or, I guess, if you’ve ever sat in the back of a bus.

I’m guessing it’s blood coming from that grocery bag, but feel free to enlighten me with your theories.

Muni has yet to smell like Teen Spirit

Photo by Flickr user jen_maiser

A couple weeks ago, rider Martha told us about a 49-Van Ness that smelled like basil, which was noteworthy because the 49 never smells like something you’d want to eat.

“Muni smells like…” actually shows up a lot on the @munidiaries Twitter feed. Here are our recent favorites.

@jessicasuzette: #Muni smelled like strawberries, somebody went to #farmersmarket love clean trains.

Could go either way
@WillieFDiazSF: Someone on this Muni bus smells like Hot Dog juice. Makes me wanna have a BBQ.
@jdaisy: this LTaraval smells like fish AND chips.

The Bad
@cache_theory: the smells of the #sfmuni…urine & moth balls
@RGreenberg: Guy just got on #muni smelling like week-old pants, and fertilizer.

The Optimistic
@fsquared: This bus smells like pancakes and syrup. #wishfulthinking #muni

We’re constantly impressed by your creativity and the, um, evocative descriptions you send. So keep ’em comin’!

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