My name is Alia.
I live in the San Francisco Bay Area and spend a lot of time on public transit—usually BART, but sometimes buses or Caltrain. It can get old, but there's always something new: I listen in, look over shoulders, and deposit stories here.
I avoid identifying individuals, either in words or pictures—but at the end of the day, public transit is ... well, public. I'm happy to chat about the ethics of eavesdropping (or anything else). Drop me a line.
Credit is given where credit is due; all other words and pictures are my own. Let me know if you see something you like.
teen girl squad, part 2
The instant the doors shut, the two women standing opposite explode into laughter.
“OHHHHHHHHH SHIIIIT,” the first begins, “NOT WEST OAKLAND!”
“Omigod, Omigod!” parrots the other, throwing up her hands. She’s rolling her eyes around like vintage Warner Brothers.
“Now, that don’t even make no sense.” The first again, gravely, wagging a finger. “West Oakland? Shit, I ain’t never got my car stolen in West Oakland. I got my car stolen in Richmond TUH-WICE.”
Everybody with the slightest bit of pigment is cracking smiles.
“You see that? You see that? Like, girl, where the COACH store at? Where the ABERCROMBIE?”
“Like we some URRRRRBAN legend!”
“And that boy? He like, oh well, seeeeeeeeyah later!”
“They all lookin’ at me like I’m some kind of PSSSSSSYCOPATH, like, ‘raaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrr!’”
Somewhere between 12th and 19th street, the performance crosses the line from funny to cruel and people start to turn away. They were only kids, after all, probably headed home to Walnut Creek. That’s seven stops and a world away. How could they know any better? Come on, we’re thinking. Cut them some slack.