33rd Day in Spain
The autobus is a strange and mysterious creature. It roams the streets looking for humans and dogs to consume. Like Jonah’s whale (or Pinocchio’s whale [or Aquaman’s whale]) they hold the travelers safe inside and drop them off comfortably at their desired destination.
Species of Buses
Its species are numerous. I believe the first bus was the one Jonah used. One day he was traveling by boat to the city of Tarshish when the idea suddenly struck him. He should go to Nineveh for some unfinished business. He jumped off the boat and caught himself a whale of a ride to Nineveh where he finished his work, then waited outside the city for it to be destroyed.
That would look like a very suspicious ‘To Do’ list today.
Do you have fond memories of riding a school bus?
I didn’t have to ride a bus to school. I lived close enough to ride my bike and walk, and this was before God created sidewalks. How we walked along curbs without wandering into traffic is still a mystery to me, probably a combination of evolution and watching where we were going.
Mobile devices weren’t invented yet, so we still had good posture and didn’t frequently walk into light posts, buses or each other.
I did ride the school bus for the school band.
In Jr High, we volunteered for the high school marching band. We rode to the games on the buses with the band members. Our main task was loading, unloading, assembling and disassembling the three drum majors’ platforms.
We also hung out with the drum corp sneaking swigs of whatever they had in their hidden flasks.
It’s just what drummers do. I was only a drummer at heart, but my best friends were actual drummers so they let me hang. I’ve spent lots of time with drummers so nobody can accuse me of elitism or wholesomeness.
Although I have fond memories of school bus rides, I know they were arenas for bullying and horror for others. I was very lucky.
Long Haul Buses
In the southern United States, we call them Greyhounds, although I’m sure there are other companies. I rode Greyhounds a couple times. When I was a kid, my mom let me ride a Greyhound by myself from Ft. Worth to Abilene (The one in Texas. This was before God invented Abilene, Kansas.) to visit a cousin.
It may have been the other way around. Maybe he came to Ft. Worth. It’s kinda fuzzy. As I said, I spent lots of time with drummers.
I can’t imagine my parents or cousins letting their kids ride Greyhounds by themselves today. In fact, I’m pretty sure they all stay as far away from city bus stations as possible.
It’s too bad that is the case. Not only are mobile devices good for bumping into one another, but they’d also be great for being less bored on buses. Last week I listened to several podcasts when we traveled to Toledo from Madrid. Maybe I’m biased, but the buses and stations here in Madrid seem much nicer and safer than the stations in Ft. Worth or Abilene.
There was not a single drummer on our buses to or from Toledo.
The Greatest Buses of All
Then there is the greatest bus of all! The Disney Magical Express.
It’s crazy that I haven’t mentioned Disney since 6 Days Before Takeoff.
Shortly before coming to Spain, my wife and I became Disney Travel Agents with Dream Builders Travel Group. We love Disney, so we are super excited about this opportunity. After reading this series, you might think that Spain is our favorite place on Earth. We love Spain, but Disney is our favorite place.
We even love Disney World more than Alcossebre. (I’ve talked about Alcossebre in too many posts to link)
The Magical Express is the bus that takes you from the Orlando airport to the park or your hotel if you are staying on a Disney property. It is so convenient and fun to let the bus take you to the park or hotel. Skip the baggage carousel. As if by magic, your luggage is in your room when you arrive that evening. Disney takes care of everything.
It can also be the worst bus of all time. The Tragical Express. That’s when you take the bus back to the airport at the end of your Disney vacation.
I talked about city buses yesterday in 32nd Day in Spain. My bus experience is admittedly limited. Limitedly admitted?
I’ve only ridden DART busses (Dallas Area Rapid Transit) a few times at home. DART could be better, but not enough people use it to support investment in its growth. Texans love their cars. And Trucks! And space. Not many of my Texas friends would enjoy the coziness of a crowded Madrid city bus.
I’ve also enjoyed a few trips on buses in San Antonio, San Francisco and New York City. Madrid buses are rough rides. Very abrupt starts and stops mixed in with quick, sharp turns. When there’s no place to hang on — or no one your comfortable hanging on to — that’s when you need bus legs.
What Are Bus Legs?
Bus legs are when you get used to balancing on the bus. Instead of hanging on to someone, you use your balance and core strength to avoid having to pretend you purposely jumped onto the floor of the bus to pick up a dropped bus pass or Euro.
How to Get Bus Legs
The first thing is to stand with your feet slightly apart, about shoulder width, and bend your knees slightly. Spread your feet just far enough to lower your center of gravity, but not enough to get accused of Manspreading.
Respeta el espacio de las damás.
I did witness and capture this blatant act of dog spreading.
Just kidding. The couple had another dog with this one. They were both very sweet and adorable amigos.
Spread your feet towards the front and back of the bus, not side to side. I have no idea why side to side doesn’t work. It could be the lines I’ve taken have more stops and starts than turns.
The rest is easy.
When the bus stops, lean towards the back leg by bending that knee slightly.
When the bus starts, lean towards the front leg by bending that knee slightly.
The turns are just like leaning into sharp turns on a motorcycle, bicycle, roller skates or ice skates.
When the bus turns the direction you’re facing, crouch slightly forward.
Crouch away from the force of the turn. If you’re facing the right side of the bus (from the driver’s perspective), crouch into the turn.
When the bus turns opposite the direction your facing, arch your back slightly.
Arch away from the force of the turn. If you’re facing the right side of the bus (from the driver’s perspective), arch back into the turn.
It takes a little practice. You might not get it the first few tries. It helps to have something to hang onto the first few tries. Although it seems that the likelihood of a fall is pretty high, I’ve seen many people lurched by the movement of the bus, but I haven’t seen anyone fall yet.
I hope you enjoy your bus adventures and your core workout!
Let me know how it goes for you!