Monday 1 July 2013

Commuting Commentary

Nothing like starting your morning with a brisk run. Or at least, I imagine you would feel that way if you were doing it by choice. When you're running to catch a ferry and both your shoes go flying off your feet, and the reason you're running late is because you had to fill the water trough of your elderly pet pig, you might feel it's kind of an odd way to start your morning... If you also happen to to be feeling a bit queasy from the potentially under-cooked porridge you ate that morning because, you know, you were in a hurry and for some reason are incapable of making porridge, even the instant stuff (yet remain hopeful that you'll get the hang of it any day now), well then that's just icing on the cake. Speaking theoretically of course, not referencing a particular morning I've had recently or anything...

Public transport commuting. It's not for the faint of heart. Between the the people you meet/interact with, the hours in advance you must leave in order to reach your destination on time and the lengthy periods of time spent sitting on a cold curb feeling your bum go numb it is important to be adequately prepared. It is vital to have reading material, for instance. A source of music is also very important, especially if you're one of those people that can't read in moving vehicles. An Ipod or similar is also useful for deflecting any unwanted social interactions, nothing says don't talk to me like a pair of headphones in your ears (which, incidentally, is an over used manouver in today's society, I said unwanted social interactions, many people seem to think this should be used to avoid any social interactions). It is also good to have water with you, especially if you have short connection times that require running (speaking from more personal experience than I would like in this instance), but you also don't want to drink too much water, depending on the length of your commute and the availability of bathroom facilities along the way. Here in the U.S., I find it is also very useful to carry a lot of one dollar bills with you, in addition to them ensuring you always have correct bus fare, I just find that one dollar bills come in handy a lot. They're nice to have for your random acts of kindness for the day, ie. giving to the homeless, or the person in front of you on the bus who doesn't have quite enough for their fare or doesn't have correct change. Ones are just good to have.

Travelling by public bus is an an adventure in and of itself. It says something when you get on public transport and they've felt the need to upholster everything, wall to wall, with movie theatre carpet. You know, that crazy looking carpet designed to make stains less visible. Carpet that's designed to lead a hard life. Carpet that's seen things... Then there's the things and people you see on and from the bus. Like a sign proudly proclaiming "New! Try a fresh crepe drive thru!". You have to ponder that one for a minute. Were they two separate thoughts they just gathered together on the same sign? "Try a fresh crepe, and we have a drive thru!" (And may I just remark on how much it pains me to write 'thru' instead of the accurate 'through', but that's what the sign said). Or are they actually encouraging people to buy crepes at the drive through, and if so, had they ever actually seen a crepe before they optimistically had the sign made up? I would certainly wager they never did a test run of trying to eat a crepe while driving a car... As for people, for example, there's the young guy with his girlfriend, with her in those very short, high-waisted shorts that are popular at the moment, you know, the ones that give people a wedgie and camel toe all in one fell swoop; and him in jeans three sizes too big, positioned just so, so his whole bum is hanging out in just his boxers, a clothing choice which causes onlookers to want to walk up and either pants him or pull them up to his waist and explain "I'm sorry, you didn't seem to be able to make up you mind about whether you were taking your pants off or putting them on, so I made a decision for you. I realize it is none of my business how others choose to dress, but I just feel that if human being are going to stick with this wearing clothes business (which probably looks pretty strange to all the other animals, but then again we are practically bald as a species these days, so it would be a bit chilly without them) then they should probably commit to it and actually wear them, rather than lingering indecisively somewhere in the middle, which this strange 'fashion' in mens pants seems to be doing.

Anyway, that's some of my tales from commuting, did I also mention long commutes give you a lot of time to think...?