Mountain girl takes on public transportation
Updated: June 4, 2012 10:29AM
This is my stop
I guess you could say I am a “suburban girl.” I grew up in Colorado and to everyone else in the other 49 states, this translates as: “I am a mountain hick who grew up skiing, snowboarding and riding horses up the Rocky Mountains.”
False. But I will let that mirage settle in everyone else’s minds.
I now commute into downtown Chicago five days a week; therefore, you can imagine how this experience has begun to scar my interpretation of not only public transportation, but also city life in general.
Let’s start with boarding the train. I am always that person who walks up the stairs and I am automatically greeted with the passing of my train. No matter how many times I check my “train tracker” application, it would appear that 7:30 a.m. converts to 7:33 a.m. train time. Sometimes I swear the driver even tips their hat to me as they leave me shuddering in the morning breeze.
When I actually get the opportunity to board the train, I automatically rush to a secluded window seat and put in my headphones. Headphones are a universal indication of “Please do not talk to me.” It’s the cold truth.
Yet, it never falls that there will be some verbose individual who clearly believes that having headphones in means, “Please talk to me! I am in need of a friend right now.” I would like to believe that I am a good person; hence, I will never turn down a conversation with anything that talks, so you can imagine the predicament this puts me in.
On days I am blessed to not share my life story with a complete stranger, it never fails that the “touchy” person sits next to me. The person who is usually carrying an excessive amount of items with them and those items happen to fall onto my lap or the person who is leaning on me for the entire hour-long train ride.
But wait! The fun doesn’t just stop there.
During the course of trip, I will usually encounter a couple different standard personalities. For instance, the person who finds it appropriate to scream into their cell, the person who feels it necessary to stare at you in the entire trip, or my personal favorite, the drunks.
If you are unlucky enough to not get a window seat, you carry a heavy burden the entire train ride. It is your responsibility during every stop to see if the person you are sitting next to fidgets. If they begin to fidget it means that their stop is approaching and you need to get up and let them get out of the seat. If you are too late, the person might miss their stop.
Finally, the train ride would not be complete without the people who decide to barge into the train as you are stepping off. Without these people, you might actually make it off the train on time, and where would the fun be in that?
Alyssa Samson is from Indian Head Park.