We’re all so private on the morning bus commute to Minneapolis. And honestly, I’m secretly relieved no one sits down in the seat next to me and asks, “what’s your name, honey? Where are you headed?”As a newbie to Metro Transit, I am still fascinated by my 90-minute ride to St. Paul. I just like to look around- what are y’all doing? Look out the window. Watch as people get on and get off, and wonder who they are.
I ride free thanks to my internship’s generosity. I have little paper passes that cover my 4th Steet transfer. But the season pass holders have the look of FBI agents or police as they stream into the bus and scan their passes. They take barely a look around, pick a plush for their rear end, and open the iPad.
I love that public transportation turns the clock back – it adds hours to your day. I see people on laptops or reading the paper, often napping too. Solitary commutes drain us of precious productive time. The bus hands it back.
I love to read my bible, books, and emails. I love to check the news on my iPod (what would this commute be like without the iPod?!)
But today when I was deep into some FOX news articles, and a woman sat beside me, I suddenly wanted to chat with her. Not only to be polite – but she was speaking a steady stream of Spanish into her Droid.
When I hear Spanish in public, I stalk people. Really – I will follow a Spanish speaker around a store just to hear them talk. I love it. San Diego was priceless for this reason – the lovely rolled r’s were everywhere!
I didn’t get up the courage to speak to my Spanish friend because:
1) after 6 hours at work my brain was seeping out of my head like melted ice cream, and
2) I didn’t know what to say, and
3) I hadn’t brushed my teeth in a couple hours.
But you know what? Public transportation… It implies being with the public, not being alone.
What’s the point of commuting together if we ignore each other?