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Eliters Newsletter
Issue Number 86
April 2010
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2 YEPs worth

Recently some friends and I participated in a birthday celebration scavenger hunt slap bang in the middle of Los Angeles - centered around Union Station, Olvera Street and Chinatown. 

Because this was on the same day as the Los Angeles Marathon three of us decided we would take the train.  Now unless you actually lived here, you wouldn't know that public transit is not something the average citizen would use unless you were totally out of other options.  Los Angeles is public transit challenged to put it mildly.  But on a Sunday we figured it might work for us. 

And so three of us met at the Blue Line Willow Street station.  Without ever discussing it, not a single one of us wore any jewelry and all three women had dressed down.  Way down.  We carried almost no cash and only one credit card each.  Got on the train and huddled in a corner.  Three women - one white, one black, one Greek.  Trip started off good, no problems.  And then three stations up - we had to change to buses because of some repair work being done on the lines. 

Now this is where it gets interesting.  We all piled into a bus.  Lots of us - jammed in.  An elderly gentleman shamed the young bucks into standing up and giving us their seats.  We sat gratefully avoiding eye contact with our fellow passengers - clearly from all walks of life and backgrounds.  And there we went, through serious gang territory, abandoned businesses covered in graffiti, broken cars and empty houses.  You know the economy is bad but until you see it up close, you really have no idea how bad. 

On our way back home - same thing.  Gangsta toughs, old folks, black folks, brown folks, some odd bods like me.   But here is the difference - we are all conditioned into travelling in silence, each making our own way to wherever we are going, but not this time.  Our motley group revealed itself to be a community of travellers.  We all shared in the gossip, we all laughed when the train stopped and the conductor asked Shayne to identify himself as his mother wanted to know where he was (heck no he didn't!), all felt bad when the frail aged Spanish speaking ladies took the wrong bus and landed up miles from where they were going, all listened to the young lovers squabbling.

And so as we Blue Lined, Red Lined it between L.A. and Long Beach, part of our Sunday community, sharing a common experience.

Not too unlike our Eliters community.  All different.  And yet all Eliters.  Not half bad.

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