Widewanderer sits in the cafe at Kamloops Airport. Escape is in the air.
Just last Saturday, I finally retired from driving buses. I shall miss it in a funny sort of way. I shall certainly miss the company of my colleagues. The Kamloops bus drivers are a great bunch of guys and galls, and deserve every little bit of recognition. Working professionals, each and every one of them. Support your local transit system and leave the car at home, if you can. Be Green. Preferably not with envy.
So, this morning, I did just that. Most folks heading for an airport with a suitcase in tow would call for a cab. And part with $25 in the process. For an insider like me (or for the layman, a quick look at the transit directions on Google Maps), there is the knowledge that the Kamloops Transit bus visits the airport a whole twice in the morning – and twice in the late afternoon. That is, when there is a full moon. No, just kidding! But as it happened, this morning's transit visit to the airport was just right for connecting into the Vancouver flight. All for the bargain price of $2.25. I'm 23 bucks in profit!
Working for an outfit like Kamloops Transit is, in many ways, like being part of a family. We play, we work, we cry, we even fight occasionally. But when all is said and done, each of us supports the other like they were a brother or a sister. The Kamloops bus drivers welcomed me with open arms when I arrived from the UK nearly three years ago. Now there is a reluctance amongst them to let me go. Being part of such a family has a certain gravity, and each member orbits around the centre like a planet. The family holds you in, and breaking out of the orbit is quite tough.
So, folks, why not give riding the bus a try, but each time you ride a Kamloops bus, think of the family that is serving you. You might want to rant and rave about the service – that seems to be the norm these days – but if you do, please try to remember that the driver at the wheel is just a decent working person, probably just like you, with a desire just to do a decent day's work. And the bus ride is a $2.25 BARGAIN!
I did manage three months as a Transit Supervisor this summer, too. It all started in a blaze of glory, as the Englishman stepped up to the plate. But then it all began to go south as the full enormity of the stress involved began to make itself abundantly clear. The Englishman quickly stepped down and resumed his activities as a driver. And once again, the family were reluctant to let me go.
Today, Driver Claudia gave me a hug as I got off her bus at the start of my long journey back to Blighty. A lovely send off…