Feb 28, 2011

6 The Intricacies of Maneuvering in Public Transit

So I don't drive. Wait lets back that up. I cannot drive, not unless of course you count driving someone to distraction...hmmmmmm. I do not have a drivers license hence I am involuntary subjected to the misadventures of traveling on public transit where I am bombarded daily to the duels of human sweat, funk, flaming profanities, multiply people simultaneously speaking loudly on their cell phones, loud screeching sounds disguises as music coming from peoples mp3, iPods, iphones shoving itself into your minuscule space of quiet wrecking your calm, the stench of cigarettes wrapped in sweet overpowering colognes and perfumes that taste like battery acid as the fumes burn and consume your innards. Oh yes it is nothing if not interesting and today was no different.

Mission Metropass

imageI left work about 2 pm to pick up my Metropass for the month of March. The travel to the pick-up point was fairly uneventful and I quickly turned myself around to return to work. I crossed the street on the opposite side; jacket zipped all the way to the neck. It was cold and the wind was especially fierce every puff of air took tiny bites out of me. The wait for the streetcar seem long although it wasn’t really, it’s just the weather tends to eat your patience because the desire to be warm takes precedence. Finally I spotted one about two blocks away, anxious I took out my pass to ready myself to board. It was full, a quick look behind showed another was on its way but the cool breeze cut that thought right out of my head and I boarded the packed streetcar. Any attempts to move back was halted by a gentleman with a big cart. I tried to move pass but it was impossible so I moved out to the driver’s line of vision as the streetcar drove off. It was then it hit me, the stench, it was alcohol, it smelt days old, so rancid that you could even smell the sugar, it all infused my nostrils. I followed the direct of the smell and sure enough it was the gentleman to the side of me. At closer examination I saw that he is Caucasian, between 50-55, medium build, scruffy beard and soiled clothing. He swayed precariously towards me and mumbled unintelligibly. I started to pray, ‘Oh Lord, father Jesus please don’t let this man hurl, oh please, please don’t let him vomit on me,’ in the midst of my prayer he let out a small burp and I doubled my plea franticly to the Divine for some grace to escape what is to come if it should come. The smell was unforgiving. I stood directly in his path. The streetcar stopped a few stops down and with some people vacating the car. I was able to maneuver myself inside away from the man. I said to myself, ‘thank you sweet Jesus.’

I almost slammed my face.

Relieved I stood as I made my way back to work. Behind me I heard, “excuse me, excuse me,” I moved myself clip_image001forward as much as I could without shoving myself unto the person sitting in front of me for the person to pass only to be shoved forward. I quickly used my hand to brace against the window of the streetcar as I was unceremoniously propel forward to keep myself from falling on the woman sitting in front of me. “Are you ok,” she asked, “yes, thank you for asking,” I answered. I righted myself and waited patiently for my ordeal to end.

The leaning Tower of Pisa

clip_image003As the streetcar sped along more and more people boarded it seem for every few that left even more loaded. I moved down as much I could, again I heard, “excuse me, excuse me,” I moved forward to allow the person to pass only then didn’t. They stopped directly behind me. I could not straighten up. I stood like the leaning Tower of Pisa luckily for me there were only two more stops to my destination. Grateful to finally leave the insanity of the streetcar. I sent up a prayer of thanks. While it wasn’t the greatest of trips the bright side to all was I didn’t get hurled on. Can you imagine? Have mercy if that had happened I think I would be scarred for life.


  1. Travelling in a crowded street car or bus is never pleasant with stinking men and women pushing us.Add to that the jerks falling on women deliberately, it becomes a night mare.
    A well written piece bringing out the hardship of such travel in public transport.But we can take solace that is so in most big cities across the world

  2. I have never taken a ride on a city bus. I can see through your words what it must be like. You are a very brave lady!!

  3. Though I don't use public transportation on a daily basis I do use it on occasion to go into Boston because taking my car in town is an expensive and annoying endevour. Still I know what you mean when you talk about the kind of people you meet in the general public.

  4. I think you have has very interested day by days
    so many way that how other people behave in details.
    You never get bored until you get off the bus?
    One way it is not bad idea to used public transport.

    But sometime you will find nuisance people that is pain in the neck:-) I believe you never get used of those people? That I can understand too.
    but you seems doing alright:-)

  5. Your blog is extremely well written. You have all the makings of a best selling author.. Please take my sincere advice and write a book - I am convinced you will be a huge success.



  6. Sounds like you were busy performing many choreographed dance moves like you were in a musical the way you had to make your through the crowded streetcar. Quite the trip you had. Here's hoping that once you finally arrived at home (in one piece and free of other's bodily fluids) you were able to throw your feet up and relax for surviving yet another trip!


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