Friday, February 11, 2011

commuting chronicles

some days, i can't bear to go underground and take the subway.  while i know it's the faster and warmer route, i sometimes opt for the streetcar.  lucky for me, i have the option. 

today was one of those days.

the first car to come was packed and i couldn't get on.  i knew this was a bad sign and it occurred to me that taking the subway isn't that bad but i decided to tough it out despite the bitter cold and obvious volumes of people.  the next car to come (about 6 minutes later) was also packed, but i managed to squeeze my way into the back doors.   a couple of stops later i felt a tap on my shoulder.  this frightened me a bit (since i'm not used to anyone tapping me on streetcars) but i turned around and noticed the man behind me was motioning that he wanted to exit soon.  i had nowhere to go, so i thought... maybe i misunderstood him.  i removed one of my headphones (listening to the best of ricky gervais) and said "pardon?"  "i'm getting off here, do you want this spot?  it's a good spot."  he said.  i was delighted.  it was a better spot than where i was standing, and the fact that he went out of his way to offer it to me was a real treat.  those random acts of kindness really do something special for my spirit.

so as the streetcar continued west and people began to thin out i found a seat.  sitting ahead of me was a couple around my age.  the young man was very outspoken and he had several outbursts that i could repeat, but this was my favourite:
"hey, guy, where'd you get that jacket?"
[muffled response i can't quite make out]
"but like, is it special or something?  like what's the point of it?"
"oh, warmth eh? i thought like, i don't know, maybe it was for charity or something, like if you bought one some of the money went to charity or something. i don't know, everybody is wearing them, i see them everywhere.  but i guess warmth is a good enough reason."

the streetcar went out of service at queen and i had to wait a little while for the next one.  it was cold.

anyway when i finally got on the bus to go home, a drunkish, 40ish year old man stampeded onto the bus and exclaimed "is this bus going to mexico?! it's way too cold out there!" no one really acknowledged him, except for a young boy around 5ish? . . . i couldn't hear their whole exchange, but the best part went like this:
"the leafs are gonna win some game, a game tonight, soon, i mean, sometime, soon" (drunk man)
"well i don't even like the leafs" (young boy with his dad)
"you don't like the leafs!?"
"i'm a montreal canadiens fan, and so is my dad"
at this point the whole bus was cracking up.  the exchange went on but i don't remember any more specifics.  it was pretty cute especially considering that the man seemed to smarten up a little and level with the child instead of being a belligerent drunk.

photo credit

so that's the ttc for ya.


Anonymous said...

The crest of Antarctica on the parka looks suspiciously like the shape of the republic of Macedonia. Makdado

Phil Simeon said...

Blog format is looking good. TTC management should all be fired and someone should start sticking up for their employees. They have thousands of employees who do a good job and hundreds who do a great job. It's too bad that a handful of goofballs have tarnished a once positive image.