My Ride on the Bus

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Liana Shakira Ab. Samad
The final paper topic that I decided on was the observation of American culture from a 5 mile bus ride. On 20th July, on a Friday, I rode the Foothill 482 bus towards Puente Hills Mall, a bus ride of about 10 miles. It was around 4.30 p.m. when I took the bus and I arrived around 45 minutes later, having passed through many landmarks and stops. From the ride, I observed a whole lot of events that made me conclude a few things about the modern American culture. The five conclusions that I made about America from this bus ride are: the distinct modes of transportations for citizens of different social classes, the continuing rise of the automobile industry, the increase in consumption of fast foods; especially among the middle-classed, the ever-going strong influence of Christianity in religious American society, and lastly the tendency of modern Americans to use foreign cars.

Firstly, I would like to go into the different modes of transportations that modern America use according to their social classes. From the ride, I observed out of all the passengers who rode the bus along the 10 mile journey, there was not even one single white person who came on the bus. The only white person there was the driver, and the passengers all were either of Hispanic or Asian descent. I quote this from an online article: “But U.S. transportation systems have not been marching toward racial integration—quite the opposite. According to the research of Mark Garrett and Brian Taylor, minorities accounted for 21 percent of bus riders in 1977. By 1995, that number had jumped to 69 percent.” (http://www.theatlanticcities.com/commute/2012/07/race-class-and-stigma-riding-bus-america/2510/). Now it may be easy for me to say: “Oh! White people of America don’t ride the bus, only minorities do.” But on more careful scrutiny of the passengers, of the type of clothes they wear to the places they were coming from when they boarded the bus, I realized that most of them...
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