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1000 Black Lines

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Overheard on the ATS

If you haven't used the Asheville Transit System (i.e. the bus), you don't know what you're missing. Here's what I overheard today on the bus.

First man: "There's a Chevrolet truck for sale for five hundred dollars. I told the man I'd give him two hundred dollars cash right there on the spot. He wouldn't have it."
Second man: "Damn motherf___er."

One guy tells another guy: "I left California because there's too many damn Mexicans."
(At least a half dozen people of Hispanic descent sit near him.)

One African-American woman trying to get the attention of second African-American woman who is on a cell phone and moves away from the first woman: "I hate blacks trying to act white."
(This is said in front of me, a person of Dutch/Irish descent, to a third African-American woman.)

One woman says to second woman: "I'm so stressed I smoked two packs today."

A young woman says into her cell phone: "No, he's Irish and speaks English."
(She speaks with a distinct Romanian accent.)
Two African-American women seated next to me on the bus overhear this and speak.
First woman: "Am I like that?"
Second woman: "Nah. You ain't that loud."

Imagine what I'll overhear on the way home tonight.

  1. Anonymous Don M | 3:53 PM, June 15, 2006 |  

    That kind of stuff is GREAT. You could start a blog about something like that. Purely quotes you heard on public transit. Thanks for the laughs. DM

  2. Anonymous Valerie Silliman | 3:21 AM, June 16, 2006 |  

    the conversations you hear in buses that you would never overhear anywhere else in the world...

    On a recent greyhound bus trip from DC to Detroit, I started to write conversations down, knowing that the irregular sleep, ridiculously messed up layovers and general dilerium would wipe out major portions of my memory. I think what shocked me the most (being from the West Coast) was the racism of the African Americans on the bus toward all Indian and Arab people, most of whom were driving their own cars down the highway.

  3. Blogger 1000 black lines | 9:24 AM, June 19, 2006 |  

    Don M, Thanks. I may consider that.

    Valerie, I'm always writing notes and observations in my notebooks and, like yourself, was surprised by the racism of some African Americans on the bus. I remember overhearing a conversation on the bus about how "those people move into our neighborhood and raise the property taxes for all of us." It took a few minutes to realize I was "those people." Another day I waited at a bus stop reading a magazine. A young African American man saw me and walked to the next bus stop (a block away). I didn't think much of it at first, but when I boarded the bus with an African American woman I saw him sneering at me from the back of the bus. I try not to let it bother me, but it is hard to ignore.

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