February 22, 2016
I am pretty sure I’ve said it before but I actually have to say it again: it’s been a very, very long day and it seems that it’s not over yet.
It doesn’t sound good especially if you feel tired and you have the image of a cozy bed in your head, does it? However, before fulfilling this wish, I still have a few things to do and one of them is to annoy you again with a post.
I imagine it would feel good to let it go for one evening – even for you it would feel good, but I know myself, skipping it once will make it okay to do it a second time and then a third and then I will be thinking: why to bother anymore?
Anyway, let me lead through the tribulations of my day, which started extremely early as I had to be at work early in the morning.
Before being able to go to work, I have lots of things to do and maybe the most stressing of all, considering it is still winter, it is walking the dog first thing in the morning.
As you already know because I told you so, during the last few days, we had spring weather: sunny, temperature in the higher range, around seventeen degrees, even, but everything came to a sharp halt yesterday afternoon, when suddenly the temperature went seriously down. Right now it is minus two.
Imagine, it is not so delightful to go out in the morning air to walk the dog, especially if your eyes are not completely open. All right, the crisp air will do that for you: after two minutes outside, I’m awake – better than coffee.
As it was Monday today, TTC decided to play with the customers, even though the beginning of the trip was quite good.
The bus came unexpectedly fast – actually there were four of them coming the same time so there was plenty of room inside. I don’t know how the people coming to the bus stop afterwards fared, but, as we people are sometimes selfish enough, I felt good for myself. Not only I could breathe but I even got a seat.
Now the subway was a real challenge for Torontonians today. At first, line 1 was stopped – but completely. There was no train between Spadina and Bloor Station. I understand it lasted about half an hour – I don’t know first-hand because I don’t use that side of the line. Then, line two went down for a while and then, when line two went back into operation, line one went down, this time on my side of the line.
That meant we spent some time in the tunnel before St.-Clair station and when we finally started moving, we made it only into the tunnel before Sumerhill, where we spent some time as well.
Imagine a train full of people, most of them standing in positions that might seem inconceivable until you try them, just waiting, being uncomfortable, for the train to start running again.
Anyway, I finally got to work, of course, with a considerable delay. Luckily, I wasn’t the only one. There were others like me as almost everybody needs the subway to get to work.
When I left there in the evening, I found myself in a subway station so packed with people that I knew I wouldn’t be able to get into the first train and I was right. I couldn’t get into the second train either.
In the end, a trip that should have taken me an hour tops, took me about an hour and forty-five minutes, after traveling on a train so packed that I couldn’t find a spot to put my left foot down.
What I find interesting is the fact that people still find ways to entertain themselves even in such conditions.
I had the possibility to partake in the conversation of two ladies. One was on my left side, holding the bar next to me - she was lucky because most people have to balance themselves without the possibility to find an anchor of any kind and of course, when the train takes a curve, people are smashed one into another. That’s not too much damage because they cannot go far as there is no room for that.
Anyway, the second lady involved in the conversation with the first one was somewhere across the alley on the right, holding another bar (she was lucky as well).
They couldn’t see each other, but they could converse, though. The fact that there were at least six if not more people between them didn’t detract them from filling the time.
Next to me, it was a young girl who, for seven stops, didn’t do anything else but analyzing her picture on her TTC card. I understand to be so absorbed in your own picture for ten minutes, maybe fifteen but not more. I looked at the picture as well (being so cozy one next to the other, it was not too difficult to look): nothing out of the ordinary, just her face. However, perspectives may differ. Who knows what she could see there.
Opposite to me, there was a young man who kept arranging his hair in the glass of the door and now and then raising his arms (how he managed such a feat, I don’t know, considering the narrowness of the space) and flexing his muscles. He was looking straight in my direction, but I am pretty sure he was actually aiming at the young girl with the photo. Alas, she was too busy to pay any attention to him.
The people around did pay attention, though, because they had to wave this way and that way to be sure that he wouldn’t hit them accidentally while flexing his muscles.
I’ve seen lots of things in the subway or on buses along the time. After all, it’s been over eight years since I started enjoying the delights of the public transport service in Toronto.
I had the possibility to see once a young man pushing hard an old lady who wanted the seat next to me so that he could take the seat. I saw young people elbowing their way on a bus so that they could reach a seat before the old people would get there.
What I haven’t seen before tonight was an old lady elbowing her way.
I got off the train and crossed the tunnel to get to the escalator leading to buses. Exactly when I got on the platform, I saw an express bus coming and I rushed towards the stop for the express. The same time, five other people noticed the bus as well and decided that they’d prefer the express as well. Now it depended on who would walk faster to get in the line or to form the line as there wasn’t one at that moment.
I managed to be the second in line. However, it was a very shortly lived victory. An old woman - much older than I but with a lot of strength (probably she visits the gym every day, not like me), simply pushed me forcibly aside and took my place. Then she turned to me and flashed me with a victorious smile.
Considering her age, I didn’t say anything. Anyway, I had been bumped on the third place only, so I doubted I couldn’t find a seat (it is a long ride and I usually carry the laptop with me and it can get heavy after a while if I have to stand).
The interesting thing was that when she got onto the bus she ran to a seat, then changed her mind and ran to another and changed her mind again and so on and so on. By the time she decided, all seats were taken.
She was taken aback for a moment, but then she went with determination to the young girl sitting in front and told her to move away because she wanted the seat. The girl looked at her with indifference, took some earplugs from her bag and started listening to music closing her eyes. The woman got furious and started mouthing the girl but this one was oblivious to everything. Finally, another young girl offered her a seat and she calmed down a bit.
I heard once a saying about running after more rabbits the same time… I think it would have been appropriate here.
Anyway, the important thing is that I got home and I had only to hear that woman rambling for only one stop, because she got off the bus.
Home usually means walking the dog – he had already been waiting for me on top of the stairs as my daughter had made the mistake to tell him that I was on my way home. He had been there on top of the stairs for one hour and forty-five minutes, patiently waiting to hear the front door opening.
And then, la piece de résistance: pancakes. I always keep my word and I promised my daughter yesterday that I would make pancakes – a mistake, that’s true. I didn’t think that I’d be so tired this evening, but a promise is a promise and when you have only your own word, you have to keep it.
Finally, it’s almost midnight and I still have to go through some papers so I will leave you alone. I think you deserve it after patiently reading through all of this. See you soon!
Born sometime in the past century, living in the 21st century.
Sometimes I have good ideas... (what do you think?)
Sometimes fascinating guests!
(that for sure!)
Sometimes I have to share some of my frustrations,..
(not too tempting, huh!)
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