Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Public Transportation

I love to drive.  I really like my car.  I enjoy the days when the weather is just right when the windows and the convertible top can be down and I can just drive and drive and drive...

Having a V8 Mustang Convertible can be a wonderful thing...until one tries to commute.  That's when the V8 engine becomes a gas hog of the worst kind and driving becomes not as fun.

I filled up my gas tank the other day.  $54.35.  That was after a week of driving of which two of those days did I actually commute 60 miles round trip, but that did it.  I've let the "low fuel" light come on a few times the last few weeks.  I know, I know, that's not a good thing. Welcome to my reality.

A week and a half ago I bought a bus pass.  For less than $7 per day and an added 45 minutes to an hour to my schedule, I am taking the bus and light rail.  What a whole new world.

I've shared, already, about the phenomenon of the bus.  Everyone lines up to file on IN THE ORDER THEY LINED UP, no one talks to each other.  The world of the bus is very interesting indeed.  The light rail, well, the light rail is a whole new world.

The Office Coordinators in my new office building have been very helpful when it comes to the light rail. They've answered my silly little questions.  They've also given me helpful hints like:

  • Jaywalk.  Don't walk down and wait for the light's to change.  It will take forever.  Make sure it's clear and dash across the street.  Got it.
  • Do not make eye contact.  Wear sunglasses all the time.  Inside and outside the light rail.  If you make eye contact, you will get hit on, hit up or someone will decide to talk to you incessantly.  Got it.
  • Wear your headphones even if you aren't listening to anything.  People won't bother you.  GOT IT!!
It pays to make friends with the Office Coordinators.

Now, you may be wondering, "Brittany, why don't you want to talk to people on the light rail?"  Well, sometimes I do.  The harmless lady who said "nice weather today" was fine.  There is a difference though, between talking about the weather and hearing someones life story in the span of a 10 minute ride.  The guy with the eyes that jumped all over the place who swore he had never done drugs and gave me his phone number so that we could "chat" sometimes, not so much.  I don't want your number.  Don't make me hurt your feelings, PLEASE.  (See, I truly am a people pleaser.)

The light rail has character, or I should say the light rail carries lots of characters. 

The guy who talked loudly on his phone in Spanish and jumped up every so often to walk around before sitting back down was interesting.  I rode the light rail twice with him.

Monday a guy got on the light rail and talked to himself the whole ride, LOUDLY.  It was fine but the swearing was a little much.

Today there was a guy who was talking and clapping and singing along to whatever music was in his on his iPod.  The rest of us on the light rail probably could have sung along as well, his music was loud enough to hear. 

This morning, out of the corner of my eye, I saw the guy across the aisle stand up and put his hands down.his.pants.  I was freaked out for a moment, but he removed his hands and sat back down.  Whew.  He stood up again and his hands went to the waist of his pants again but this time he just adjusted them at the waist and sat back down.   I didn't look. No eye contact, remember?  I was more than ready to get off the light rail when my stop came. 

Unfortunately my stop happens to be the same stop for those heading to the probation office.  Sometimes these characters follow me off the light rail.  Which is why I decided jaywalking is fine.

Tonight, on the bus ride home, I felt sorry for the guy who obviously didn't have Office Coordinators to tell him the golden rules of public transportation.  He made eye contact and had no headphones and the guy who had just gotten released from the hospital and was heading home but needed to get his stuff from the fire station where he had been taken after getting jumped and then robbed and then...oh the story.  Poor, defenseless man heard the whole saga the whole 45 minute ride.  When I got off the bus, hospital man was still talking.  They had another 10 minute ride ahead.

Ah, the joys of public transportation.  It's almost better than a movie...but not really.

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