I’ve become part of a new group. I call it a Kaffeeklatsch — not that there is coffee, but there definitely is conversation, lots of it and laughter and a bevy of pleasant, friendly women.
My invitation to this group came about with a casual chat at the desolate transit stop (route 640) where I catch my bus home at the end of my work day. At that time, the stop was right on the edge of a busy, industrial trucking route — and I mean, right on the shoulder of the pavement! There was no shelter, no proper platform, just a couple of tatty, plastic chairs on the side of the highway under a light standard (which didn’t even have a functioning bulb – but did have a bus stop sign affixed to it.)
That day, as I reached the huddled group of commuters, out of breath from running wildly to ensure that I caught the bus, I muttered to a woman standing there that I felt as if, one day, I might become roadkill at this so-called “bus stop”. She chuckled and told me about a co-worker who had started wearing a reflective safety vest whenever she had to take this bus, as a few times, the driver had not seen her waiting there on dim, winter days and had driven right past her, leaving her stranded. I declared, that a vest like that was just what I needed.
A few days later, Isabelle, my fellow traveler, invited me to sit beside her, as I climbed on board the bus. Then, she presented me with a bright, yellow and orange safety vest! And suddenly, I was a bonafide member of the “640 Kaffeeklatsch”.
The group is fluid, sometimes only Isabelle and I are present — though, usually there are about five “core” members. There are fringe members, too, who are accepted into the fold, whenever they ride the bus – people who only take transit sporadically, but are immediately welcomed by a volley of greetings and inviting smiles.
The 640 Kaffeeklatsch is boisterous and fun — the conversation lively and the members are kind, friendly, warm and protective of each other. In fact, the 4pm 640 route is coveted by transit drivers because of our group — we appreciate our drivers and we show it in many small ways — ways that sometimes include chocolate! Our Kaffeeklatsch is renown for its camaraderie, sociability and generosity.
It feels good to belong.
Thank you, Isabelle, Tara, Kerry, Lorraine and Dinna! You make the after-work bus trip so pleasant — it’s no wonder that you are well-liked and respected by bus drivers and passengers alike. I am grateful to be a part of your group!