Truth Thursday is a weekly feature here in my blog that talks about something that happened to me in the past or very recently that I would have otherwise kept but decided to share to you without hesitation and regrets (whaaaat). Happy reading!
In the tradition of keeping up with my shenanigans, I was reminded by a recent conversation about my commuter experience three years ago in San Francisco.
Shortly after arriving in San Francisco, my bff and I took a bus to downtown SF to eat and meet with my niece. It’s not that I didn’t know about it, that you’re supposed to pay as soon as you get in, but since the bus was moving already, I decided to sit down and figured I’ll pay when we’re about to alight. Plus I had an experience a good two years prior but in Washington DC where people paid when they’re about to get off at their stop so I assumed it’s the same.
Assumption almost got me a ticket.
A couple of stops later, a police was in the bus and specifically asked us if we already paid. I said I haven’t and showed him two dollar bills I was clutching in my hand the whole time. He then lectured me about not paying bus fares, asked if I drive, and asked about my purpose why I was in the States. At one point he asked for my passport. I was honestly half-scared and half-embarrassed and kept thinking, This is such a hilariously horrible way to have a hit in the system. Not paying the bus fare. This is gonna show up when I apply for entry the next time and when I renew my visa. When he learned we were tourists, I began to apologize about assuming I can pay anytime during the ride. After a few minutes, he said something in Tagalog, gave me my passport back, and began telling us about his family in Manila. When we reached the stop I profusely said thank you and said sorry to the driver while I was putting the money in the machine.
We had a good laugh when we were walking to the mall. My bestfriend was silent the whole time and said she was nervous already. I knew it’s something very minor but even then I couldn’t help but shake my head at how something so little can give me the biggest of panic attacks. The next few days during that trip I made sure we didn’t ride the bus anymore.