For most people, riding the bus leads somewhere physical. Somewhere real. Maybe someplace rather perfunctory.
You take the bus to work. You ride it to go shopping. You hop onboard to get to class on the other side of campus.
For Eva Phan, a CATA bus took her to the next chapter in her life. She met her now-fiancé sitting in a bus shelter in front of MSU’s Brody Hall.
“It’s become a running joke in our relationship,” Eva said. “’If you want to find love, you have to go to the bus stop!’”
Ten years ago, Eva was a freshman studying human biology at Michigan State. She had to get to a chemistry test across campus but was unsure of the exam’s location. She saw Jeff Boore waiting for the bus and recognized him from her class.
“I followed him off the bus,” she said. “We were kind of wandering around separately, and he asked if I was in his class.” She told him she was, and they discovered neither of them knew how to get to Conrad Hall. This was before smartphones, so no one could do a quick check on Google Maps.
They went into the wrong building, and someone showed them the way.
“The whole time I was trying to chat him up, and he was not having it,” Eva said, laughing. “I thought, ‘He’s not that nice!’ I thought I’d never talk to him again.”
Later in the semester, she needed chemistry help, so she reached out to him on a whim.
They hit it off and talked all night. And when they went on their first date?
“We took the CATA bus to Noodles & Co.!”
Eva and Jeff dated all through college – she finished her bachelor’s degree in 2012; he stuck around for a master’s degree and finished in 2013. Their careers took them to San Francisco, where they live now. Last July, Jeff proposed.
When it came time to shoot engagement photos, their photographer asked if there was any particular spot that was meaningful to them.
“We told her, ‘Actually, the bus stop,’” Eva said.
They posed in the bus shelter, and they even climbed on an empty bus for a quick photo shoot, thanks to a friendly and accommodating driver.
Eva shared one of the photos on Facebook with the caption, “We found love in a hopeless place,” referencing the Rihanna/Calvin Harris song. But they don’t see the bus stop as hopeless at all. To the contrary.
“The bus stop means a lot to us,” Eva said. “Every single time we come back to campus we go see it. It makes us happy. It brings us back to being freshmen.”
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