TrIP Blog Day 27: I’ll Be Home Soon by Ivan Riascos #TrIP_Orlando #publictransportation

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On Thanksgiving Day I took LYNX Route 41. For my project I will be doing a video, the following is a second draft of a narration that will part of the video.

Bus route 41 goes across town staying on one road, which is state rd. 436. Depending on which way you are going it starts from the airport and ends in the city of Apopka. For those who don’t know Apopka means Big Potato in Native American.

Anyways going back to my thoughts, I usually take 41 when I fly late into Orlando and don’t want to bother any of my friends to pick me up from the airport. The ride usually takes about an hour from the airport to my house, which is ten minutes shy from reaching downtown Apopka. I plan ahead and usually try not to drink anything prior to the bus trip because of the lack of bathrooms.

Sitting on the bus I usually reminisce about my trip that I just returned from, thinking how much I rather live somewhere else than the city of Orlando. I will admit I never really liked Orlando.

(Silent Break)

I remember when I first landed in Orlando as a kid, even back then I question my parent’s decision on moving here.
The airport back then was known as McCoy Airport. It was one long straight terminal, pretty simple. I’ve never seen such a small airport. You need to understand I was moving from Los Angeles, now that is an airport. As a child LAX was the first place I got lost from my mother via the elevator. My mother was so angry with me for doing that.

My father picked us up that day from McCoy Airport and drove us to our new home in Forest City. This town does not exist anymore; it has been unincorporated in Seminole County.

Looking out the car window I saw no sidewalks. How could this possibly be? A place with no sidewalks! I panicked. How am I supposed to ride my beautiful red bike without getting run over? I don’t like this place, a place with no sidewalks. The other thing I noticed too was how humid it was. I didn’t know what humidity was; all I know was how sticky and hot it was that first night in Forest City that we had to sleep with floor fans on. I tossed and turned to find some kind of relief from the heat. I thought to myself how much I hated living in Florida.

(Silent Break)

I use to ride the bus daily as a teenager.

In 1978 my parents decide to buy a new house, but we needed to sell the old house first and live in an apartment for one year to save up money, the problem was that the apartments were located in a different school district and my parents did not want to interrupt our school year since we only had a month until school let out for the summer. The plan was for my father to drop us off in the morning at Teague Middle School, after school my sister and I would have to walk from Sand Lake Road down 434 to 436, which is about a mile walk, catch the Tri-County Transit, this was what it was called before Lynx. I don’t remember the route number. We would then get off at Wymore Road walk another mile to the apartments. I did this for a month in the Florida heat and rain.

(Silent Break)

I did ride the bus in another country.

When I was fifteen years old I lived one year in Bogota, Colombia. I constantly took their public transportation. Having lived in Florida prior to this and noticing we were heavily dependent on a family car to get around I was blown away at seeing how public transportation operated in Bogota. All you had to do was walk to any major road lift you hand up to grab a bus that could take you to your destination, or connect with another bus route. There were no bus stops, or schedules. Sometimes you only had to wait a couple minutes to twenty minutes to catch a bus. I found this very liberating. Don’t get me wrong this bus system was not perfect. It caused major traffic problems since there were no stops. Buses stopped constantly especially where pedestrian traffic was heavy. Since there was no route schedules and several transportation companies the competition would sometimes get fierce for clientele. Bus drivers trying to meet quotas would battle each other racing each other trying to pick up as many riders as possible and not stopping to drop people off. This was nicknamed the “Battle for the Peso.” This caused several accidents and injuries. The bus system since then has been completely restructured to avoid this. Sadly I can’t ride the bus system in Bogota anymore, I get motion sickness.

(Silent Break)

Every time I take route 41 from a recent trip many thoughts and questions flood my mind.
What does this city have to offer me?
Why do I keep on living here?
What do I need to do to be happier?
Why can’t I make it as an artist in Orlando?
Why so many people dislike or don’t understand conceptual art in Florida?
Why do so many people love paintings of palm trees? And call it art!
I need to get a better job.
Why is my family such a burden to me?
Why I can’t break this bondage from my family?
Can I be that selfish without being mean?
Can I just wash my hands of responsibility?
My brother and sister did, why can’t I?

She’s my mother, I worry about her, I care about her, and I love her. I have only one mother on this earth and she has loved me with all my faults.

I’ll be home soon. She will be happy to see me, ask me how my trip was, and offer my something warm to eat. Over the years I have seen my mother go from being Wonder Woman to a fragile senior with a walker and an absent mind.

I collect my thoughts. I remind myself I’m strong, to believe in myself. With hard work and dedication great rewards will come this is what my mother has taught me. I will get out of this hole I’m in, become the person I’ve envisioned.

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