*Slides the snooze button on iPhone*It’s another Monday morning. Here. We. Go.
I’ve gotten pretty accustomed to relying on myself to get from point A to point B; controlling all aspects of getting to my destination without maiming or disabling myself.Growing up in North Carolina I drove everywhere – high school, my part time job, friend’s houses, movie theaters, concerts – literally everywhere. It wasn’t until I decided to move up north that I realized there was a completely different mode of transportation I had to start incorporating into my life.I used to have negative connotations about anything that wasn’t my own vehicle or a friend’s (unless my friend’s whip was literally a rolling death trap…). I kid you not, I used to think taking a bus or taxi was on some other peasantry-type shit (complete ignorance).These types of transportation methods are like the lifeblood of urban metropolitan areas. All types of demographics and classes rely on these methods of travel (unless you’re making buku dinero and can say fuck that shit).
When I moved to the Washington, DC area, I had to transition my form of travel to either taking the bus or subway (Metro). Driving to work was out of the question because, well, I live in one of the most expensive cities in America. I lived on the outskirts of the city, in Virginia, and the most time efficient alternative was taking the Metro. The bus simply would have prolonged my commute into the city more, I think…
For those of you who’ve taken public transportation before, you’ll have an idea of where the rest of this article will go; for those who haven’t (like me, a year ago) this is my perspective on public transportation.If you’ve ever been to Washington, DC and ridden on their Metro rail, you will know that it is the worst public train in the nation (my tax dollars are definitely going somewhere else, that’s for sure). I can almost guarantee that. I get on this metal contraption and it smells like wet feet. Everyday I am immediately greeted with the smell of kimchi infused with wet dog – fantastic.
So, not only is the speeding-metal-Coors-light-can smelly as dick, but it also gives off this aura of depression. I’ve never seen someone grinning ear-to-ear on that train at 8AM. *Thinking back* Nope, can’t even think of an instance.
Actually, I think the closest instance was when this girl laughed at my attempt at talking to her. After the fact, she went back to her depressed state; cause, you know – the Metro.
Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t think the aspect of taking it is necessarily bad, but in the amount of years it’s been running through and out of the city, the least they could do is fix up the upholstery, add some LED lights and play some Rick Astley through the speakers or something.*Alarm goes off again*
I’m partially awake now. I drudgingly get out of my body-heat ridden bed and proceed to shower, shave and make my way to the train. It’s a Monday and I am the least enthused person to be heading to work. What do you know? It’s the Metro. I literally can’t get on this thing and be excited.In addition to immediate onsite depression, I am then greeted by another factor that makes my daily commute that much better. I typically would get to the train around 8AM, which gives me just enough time to make it to work in punctual fashion by 8:30AM (emphasis on ‘just enough’). I’m not sure if arriving at certain times plays that much of a factor, but maybe four out of the five times I rode it during the week, I am crammed into what seems like the smallest college dorm room ever.The Metro gets packed. If anything could have made the start of my Monday better, it would have to be the aspect of having 3-4 people breathing in your face, one person smelling like body odor (which perplexes me because it’s the morning), and two people standing on your feet. It sucks. You see the first train roll through and there’s no less than 60 people jammed into one. The doors open and you’re like, fuck that – I’ll wait for the next one. Next one comes around, a little bit lighter on people than the first, but not that much different.With time being a factor because I have to somewhat make it to work on time, I grab my laptop bag (courtesy of J.Crew) and enter the train. Luckily I caught the train where the AC was broken – nice. Not as big of a deal in the winter, but during the summer season, when you’re wearing business casual work clothes, it is the worst.You’re probably thinking, “damn Brad. It can’t be that bad. Does this get better?”
I’m partially kidding. But in all seriousness, it is not my ideal mode of transportation and thankfully, I don’t have to take it anymore. I take the bus now because I live in DC and am way cooler.
Now, my take on the bus; picture Chris Gardner – Will Smith’s character inThe Pursuit of Happyness -finding out he is going to be a stock broker for his professional career and is no longer homeless.
You could say I was that happy with the transition.
I mean there are places to sit, it doesn’t reekas bad, I can see daylight – oh my god, I can see the light of day on my commute to work – it’s glorious.
And final thoughts: the Metro is an alright means of transportation, but it’s refreshingly better to be above ground and have a shorter commute. This concludes my thoughts on public transportation, specifically in DC.
Dani Robert is a 25-year-old singer/songwriter based out of Toronto, Canada. Her latest single "Clouds" is a hybrid...