Exploration #1: Right Where You Are Sitting

Photo from "How to be an Explorer of the World" by Keri Smith

Photo from “How to be an Explorer of the World” by Keri Smith

I sat at my most frequented bus stop and told myself to finish this exercise before the bus arrived. This bus stop is Techn’hom UTBM, the closest to my residence for taking Line 3 to the Sevenans campus.

“There is a quaint house in front of me. Its wooden shutters are black and always open. The frames re brown, and there’s a striped curtain at the top of each window. The house’s number is 6, and this number is displayed twice. I like the texture of the cream outer walls.”

Then the bus arrived – so I continued writing about the bus.

“It’s a one-car bus, and my favorite seat is taken. I sat instead behind a pair of girls, one blonde and one brunette. The blond is wearing a blue scarf with light blue and red patterns and has blue eyes. her hair is in a bun and her shirt, from here, looks like my favorite green collared shirt. The seats they are sitting on have pink upholstery with a tiny running pattern of brown squares, while my seat has red upholstery with navy blue squares. The brunette has a cream knitted scarf and a brown leather jacket. The perk of sitting behind women is that the smell is never that of sweat or city.

There was someone pruning the plants in the pot outside the Brasserie de la Gare. That’s new. Ack, this bus has the annoying buzzer for the  “arret demande” signal. This bus driver is not the smoothest, and I’m becoming a little carsick. The bus driver has short white/grey hair – the same color as my white RFA Engineering pencil.

There is a Carnival this Sunday. I wonder if I can go, given the meetings with Chancellor Shields that I will be attending. Oh, look, the lights posts behind Leclerc are blue. I hadn’t noticed that before, since I’m always looking toward the natural scenery.

This bus ride is reminding me why my favorite seat is the one it is. I usually sit in the seat that is situated over the rear wheel. Doing so nearly eliminates the vertical motion, and the side-to-side jostling isn’t quite as bad, either, even with the worst drivers.

I should explore Danjoutin sometime. It looks like a nice town to be in for a while, and it’s not far from Sevenans.”


In doing this exercise, I focused on describing the things around me instead of allowing my mind to wander like I usually do on the bus. I am not sure that I succeeded in heightening my knowledge of my surroundings, but I do know that tiny details like the color of the dots on the upholstery is something I would not have distinguished otherwise. Had you asked me the color of the dots before I did this exercise, I would have answered, “black”


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