Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Pearl Jam experience, part 1: "Why go" ... by bus?

Ninety-eight. That's how many Pearl Jam fans you can fit into a small Trieste city bus.

And not one solitary soul more. Trust me.

We decided to wing our transportation to the Pearl Jam concert Sunday night and picked up a bus downtown to the soccer stadium in the northern part of the city.

So Kate, Elizabeth and I squished ourselves into a bus that already was bursting with humanity. And it smelled like it too.

Fortunately I was taller than most of the other passengers, so their faces were in my armpits, not the other way around. Elizabeth was in the middle of the mass of people and too far from a rail or handle, so she was leaning on me. I had such a tight grip on Elizabeth's belt loop that I gave her a wedgie trying to support her.

Just arms and heads for as far as you could see. 
At each turn, I felt like there was a 50-50 chance that the weight of a dozen other people would push me right out of the door I was leaning against. I briefly considered that I might need to make a bargain with God to survive.

Are those keys in your pocket or are you just happy to be this close to me? 
Then at a stop, one poor non-Pearl Jam fan returning home with her groceries got out. But three more people got in. At that point, Elizabeth pointed out the occupancy numbers for the bus was 22 seated and 65 standing. I began counting. By my estimation, we were at least 11 over that, not counting kids and short people I couldn't see.

But with a collective sigh of relief from our fellow passengers, we made it.

Happy to have survived the trip. Happier still to pick up our tickets. 

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