IMR: 1999: September: 29 —  Tuesday, 9:55 p.m.
Route A, Intersection of University Avenue and Kapi`olani Boulevard, Honolulu, Hawai`i

It's official. When it comes to midday school commuting, there's no beating TheBus.

My coworker Tony, the swift-thinker that he is, offered me the use of his UH parking pass a few weeks ago. It just so happened that while my class is held Tuesdays and Thursdays, his schedule is strictly Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. And since our work schedules always overlapped, it would always be an easy matter to pass the permit between us as needed.

So last week, I tried as hard as I could to relish the unexpected privilege of motoring up to campus in my trusty ol' Nissan.

Instead of leaving the office at 9:30, I worked comfortably past 10. But that turned out to be just about the only advantage over mass transit... and frankly, it's hard to qualify an extra 30 minutes of work as an advantage.

Traffic sucked. Midday drivers along South King Street are especially inept. And finding parking in the structure was a nightmare. I ended up on the top floor, in the hot sun, squeezed between two nearly identical and monstrous Dodge Ram trucks, which together left me just enough space to park a bicycle.

By the time I dragged my sweaty and stressed-out self over to Crawford Hall, class had already begun. By contrast, since TheBus is notoriously bad at keeping a schedule, I by necessity always boarded early enough so as to leave myself between 10 to 30 minutes after arriving on campus.

No time to shake my head over the latest Ka Leo. No time to grab that miniscule cup of overpriced Pepsi at the Marriott "Kube." Instead, I got an annoyed Dr. Brislin and a crappy seat.

Getting back to work? That was even worse. The line of cars coming out of the structure and the ridiculously short light along Dole meant ten minutes wasted before even leaving university soil. And as I made my way back into downtown, I found myself hopelessly ensnared in the nightmare of lunchtime traffic as everyone else battled their way out.

And, of course, by then all the good parking stalls were taken in the building. It was an unusual sight for a guy who's usually one of the first people to drive up in the morning.

So this week, and from now on, I'll kick back in air-conditioned comfort and let Brickwood "Now Approaching!" Galuteria be my guide. Since someone else does the driving, after all, I've got a heap of spare time. Coming to campus today, I finished all the readings for Brislin's class in one fell swoop. And going back, I get to putter away on my computer.

I think the woman next to me is reading.

Heh. Yep. But not anymore.

© Ryan Kawailani Ozawa · E-Mail: · Created: 28 September 1999 · Last Modified: 01 October 1999