Claire Martin

Chaotic Commute Perspective – by Claire


I was on the 240 bus heading across the Lionsgate bridge, January 4th, when the traffic started to slow.. then slow some more.. then s-t-o-p. Dead stop. Nothing moving. It was about 7:50 am – still dark – and we were roughly mid-span across the bridge.

So we sat. In silence.

5 minutes later there was still barely any noise from within the bus – a few “harumphs” but no grumbling, no complaining. We get caught in traffic a lot. We’re used to it. Everyone is plugged in at that hour. Head down, faces partially lit by glowing phones, or reading, or more often than not, head back eyes closed.

But still we sat -literally not moving- for another 10 minutes. At which point people started to pay attention to the world around them. Off came the headsets. Eyes opened. A few amongst us started chatting.

Moments later the sun started to crest low and slow over the eastern horizon. A-spectacular-clear-sky-cold-air-glowing-orb-washing-gold-over-the-land kinda sunrise. It was glorious. And we all noticed.

Faces turned to the sun. We chatted some more. Took photos.

“What a magnificent sunrise!” was said.

It became obvious that we weren’t going anywhere soon. People started offering seats to those standing. We took turns in sitting and standing. A couple towards the back of the bus started up a “real” conversation. They looked each other in the eye, they talked and laughed and shared stories.

The lady beside me scooched up a little closer for warmth. So I scooched back up to her.

A few gawkers moved towards the front of the bus to watch the “incident” progress. But most of us didn’t. We became a little community of trapped commuters sharing the morning together.

When all was done – some 2 hours later – I finally got off the 240 in downtown Vancouver. Most yelled “thank you” to the driver, and some even continued their conversations as they disembarked. New friends? Maybe.

Sometimes it’s the strangest incidents that draw us together.

A chaotic commute across – The Lionsgate Bridge – one of the thousands caught in the north shore-to-Vancouver commuting nightmare … my front row view of the entire “incident” saw us not dwell on the cause, nor who might be to blame, nor the finger pointing regarding response. Rather we found some humanity.


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  • Reply Karen N January 4, 2017 at 10:06 pm

    Great story and the best part was the guy on the bridge cable was taken down safely and hopefully will get some help going forward .. thank you for a nice moment of the day 🙂

    • Reply Claire Martin January 8, 2017 at 9:01 am

      You’re welcome! Glad you enjoyed my take on the event.

  • Reply Shea January 4, 2017 at 10:11 pm

    A moment of shared humanity. Thanks.

    • Reply Claire Martin January 8, 2017 at 9:02 am

      You’re welcome!

  • Reply Maureen McGrath January 4, 2017 at 10:40 pm

    What a great story. Loved that! Restored my faith in humanity on some level.

    • Reply Claire Martin January 8, 2017 at 9:03 am

      Thanks Maureen.

  • Reply Robyn Brown January 6, 2017 at 10:48 am

    Claire..I love your positive perspective on an otherwise sad and, to many,an annoying incident ocurring around you…I am a frequent transit user and have pretty much seen it all but having an interesting conversation with a complete stranger very often makes my day…thank you

    • Reply Claire Martin January 8, 2017 at 9:07 am

      Thanks Robyn. Patience, and the ability to see beyond the annoyance, are traits I’m aiming to develop more this year!

  • Reply trill136 January 6, 2017 at 5:36 pm

    Seems like quite a contrast to the situation about the “free” salt. Well written Claire.

    • Reply Claire Martin January 8, 2017 at 9:07 am

      No kidding! Thanks for the comment.

  • Reply Sasha Thomas January 9, 2017 at 10:57 pm

    It is so nice that at times patience is exercised without thought. Lovely that.

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