The Sounds of San Francisco, Vol. 37

Tonight I’m riding the 43, sitting toward the front of a rather empty bus.
Aside from the gears and noisy breaks, the only sound is the shuffle of plastic on the head signs as they shift between the line number and the destination.
It sounds like a rain stick in the Nature Company – you remember, that old store with the polished rocks and cheap-yet-portable, multicolored binoculars. Rain sticks with the spokes and handfuls of sediment rushing past, like rain on foliage. A simulacra of a stereotypical sound.
So it’s me and a bus and the sounds of simulated rain on a bus heading for the Haight on Saturday night full of promise, little realized. Maybe all city buses across the country make this sound – but this is the first place I’ve heard it: soothing, natural, and soft.

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