(That’s Mass Bay Commuter Rail, for those non-MA readers)
As I’m sure you’re all painfully aware by now, I’ve been taking the train to work for almost a year. I used to have a nice, short ride on a new, clean commuter rail line, and a short walk to the office. Now I have a long, crowded ride on a commuter rail line that has delays almost every day, then I have to get on a bus and walk a bit more to get to the office.
The winter brings out the worst in commuters. Not that most of us are a happy bunch at 6 am to begin with (especially after shoving 4 one dollar bills into a leetle box to pay for parking). The train station parking lot is often unplowed (I got stuck on a patch of ice at 11pm once), yet there is so much rock salt on the stairs they are impossible to see. People huddle in the tunnel at the top of the stairs because its so much warmer in there. Right. And the coughing on the train is a lovely added perk.
Once on the train, the process of removing hats, gloves and jackets begins, all the while holding up the line of people trying to get on the train. Men are quite particular about removing their coats and folding them neatly on the overhead rack. I, on the other hand, leave my coat on so I can pull up the hood and sleep against the window.
Speaking of my being perfect, I’ve noticed that my walking has become like my driving (and, no, I don’t mean bad and dangerous!) I now approach anywhere I walk like I’m in a car. If someone is moving too slow, I ride their ass (figuratively) until they speed up, or I pass on the right. I walk up stairs on the right side, and stay in my “lane” if I turn at the top of the stairs. In crowds, I leave room in front of me in case someone stops abruptly (about 2 person widths). If I accidentally bump into someone, I give them the “sorry” wave (though we don’t have to exchange insurance information). Overall, I’m the perfect little commuter.
I took the “regular” subway the other day and was horrified by the number of people who don’t follow common courtesy rules. They stop in the middle of the stairs, read while they are walking, don’t let people off the train before trying to get on, and (I realize this makes me sound like an old lady) kids these days swear in public like there’s no tomorrow. Of course, commuter rail people are so much classier than the regular subway people. We’re cool like that.