Now that our offices moved downtown, I ride public transit every day to work. For 2.5+ years I drove my car, sometimes begrudgingly but a necessary evil – for I refused to do the 3 transfer public option. Now I drive 3 miles to the transit parking lot closest to my home, park, way, way, way back in the lot so my car isn’t dinged to within a inch of a new paint job and I hoof it to the platform. I need the exercise, so I don’t mind…and I have the ability to maneuver in and out of the car, get my bag from the trunk etc. And, I pay the ridiculous amount of approx $11.00 a month for a transit pass that my employer subsides!!! It is a bargain….and while there is the 1 hour commute time and inconvenience of juggling appointments (doctors, dentists, indian chiefs) and the very real possibility that the train is delayed – this happened almost every night the first 2 weeks I was riding in September,I ride with a lighter heart, knowing my carbon footprint is smaller. Not a grand or auspicious beginning…but I do get off right at the back door to my building.
What isn’t so great about public transit – is the public part. Do people not understand that talking on their cells phones is akin to being next to them in their bathrooms….people, I do not care to listen to your jibber-jabber, or your personal escapades from the night before. One young woman was loudly proclaiming to whomever she was talking to the intimate details of the night before and tersely told the gentleman net to her – who was repeating her word for word to “stop listening”….frankly my dear the whole damn car could hear you and we were all wishing you would SHUT UP! (I had to keep from bursting out in laughter at his antics, did wink conspiratorially at him and mouthed “thank you”, when she got up in a huff and moved to another seat, madly texting to someone-thankfully, in silence.)
I am utterly amazed at what people say and do on the train/bus. They speak in loud voices, they pitch fights with their sig others, they steal a ride, talk on cell phones, talk in loud voices to the person(s) they are with (attention, it’s “all about us” right now), hogging the seat next to them with bags or body parts and have no qualms about hitting you with their bodies or bags… and don’t get me started on the people waiting to get on the train…”it is so much easier if you let people out first” I want to say – for all of us!
I LOVE to read – using transit allows me to do a lot of reading in 40 minutes twice a day. I am easily diverted so I have taken to wearing foam ear plugs…I can effectively eliminate most of the noise that is in my immediate vicinity and ignore those loudest with effort. I have absolutely no shame in wearing earplugs and will gleefully indicate that I can NOT hear a word that is being said…it may be construed as rude, but I find the loud talking rude too. Right now I am reading Keeping the Peace (Mindfulness and Public Service) and The Scarpetta Factor…the first a “real” book, the other on my Kindle…my recent birthday present to moi-the coolest techno gadget I own.
Reading is a diversion. My already over-active mind needs to have the activity…I find peace in disappearing into the pages of whatever I am reading. I find joy too, and information. I find that my world has expanded, my vocabulary increasing and my imagination is sparked. I can not envision a day when I won’t have a book in my hand, one inverted on the coffee table and another waiting for me to sit down and begin to turn pages…how is it that some people are just not “into reading”? Another mystery to resolve…not now, however, for I want to read.