As most of you know, Andy and I ride the #4 Division bus from our casa to downtown Portland. Andy gets off a few stops before me to catch another bus to Portland Community College Sylvania campus. I continue on my way usually getting off before I hit Chinatown. I used to take the bus as close as it would get me to my office but in recent weeks I have decided to alter my route a bit.
One of the guys I follow on Twitter had a run of bad luck on the MAX that resulted in his bike and laptop getting stolen. There was quite a bit of speculation that his keeping such a regular schedule may have made him seem more attractive to thieves. To be safe, I thought it would be best to alter my schedule. Downtown Portland has some shady characters lurking around in all sizes, shapes, and colors. There is also a large homeless population that doesn’t really have regular access to bathrooms. So…guess what that means. Yep, you guessed it. Parts of downtown Portland reek of urine. I always thought cat urine was bad but human is way more pungent. So yeah, I’ve been altering my route. It’s a good thing.
On the bus the other day, I was taking notice of a woman who has been catching the bus at the stop Andy and I wait at. She had several bags with her and each was looped across her body in a style that I always makes me think of my Nana. (Nana taught me that in crowded places you’re more likely to get your purse stolen but if you loop the strap across your body it’s a lot harder for a thief to grab it. At this point in the lecture she made me loop the strap across my body and grabbed shaking me pretty hard to make her point. Needless to say, I remember the lesson.) So this woman has a bag looped on each side of her body plus a backpack on. I thought this a definitely an Urban Commando.
This is what I found when I searched for Urban Commando:Oh and a lot of references to video games.
I see some of these Urban Commando’s walking around with more technology attached to their belts than a lot of rural public schools have. They have the Blackberry and/or an iPhone, Leatherman, and some even have a pager. Who still carries a pager besides a doctor? Some of the college kids have coffee cups looped onto their messenger bags and other accouterments. I’m personally trying to scale down the amount of ‘stuff’ I have with me. Not add to it. But some of the items are handy like the coffee cup.
This morning there was a woman who sat next to me who had four plastic grocery bags filled with stuff. She was neatly dressed but had these four grocery bags that kept threatening to spill their contents all over the dirty floor of the #4 bus. I was so distracted by the four bags that I started staring and trying to imagine why anyone would take four small plastic bags full of stuff on a crowded bus. Doesn’t she own a bigger bag in which to consolidate her stuff? Was she running late and just couldn’t deal with it? I don’t know why this perplexes me so much. But it does. Anyways……