Public Transportation

You know, if possible I like to avoid public transportation. Why? Well, I don’t feel too comfortable with crowded locations. So I’ll try to go by bike or car if possible. But at times I am facing the adventure ‘public transportation’. In fact it’s quite interesting since you see and meet and sometimes at hot summer days even smell other people. So the morning starts with a first social event, city railway.

Already while arriving at the train station you can recognize two different types of people. The are the regular travelers, which are here every morning, again and again and again. They accepted their destiny and are usually looking bored, even pathetic, trying to ignore everybody else, starring holes into the air or the ground. Some of them carrying books, which will be read in various positions. The atmosphere is almost like in a zombie movie. So let’s refer to them from here as ‘zombies’. Already this would be disturbingly funny if there wouldn’t be the second type of people, infrequence-travelers. They are the ones walking around, looking confused, irritated, puzzled, trying to read time tables or trying understand unclear loudspeaker announcements. Let’s refer to them as ‘newbies’. They even try to ask the experienced train users (aka zombies) for help, which will result into a grumbled mumble-answer, presented with an as bored as possible facial expression, which tells you non-verbally: “How dare you to talk to me in the morning?!”.

The combination of those two types of people, zombies and newbies, has a high value of entertainment. You can even improve those funny moments with smiling into random zombies faces with a loud “Good morning, what a wonderful morning!”. The resulting looks are price-less. Try it, it will make your day. The visible confusion is a mix of “What the hell do you want?!”, “Do I know you?” and “One more word and I’ll kill you with looking angry at you!”. Enjoy this moment, wish the confused person a nice day and look for the next victim. Life can be wonderful.

Even scarier becomes the zombie scene with all the used smartphones. Observing smartphone controlled people is very funny. And almost everybody has such a device now. Most of the people at the train station are starring into that tiny device, not realizing what is going on around them. You could dance nakedly between them, they simply wouldn’t recognize you. It becomes even funnier when they use those devices while walking. But that’s a separate story.

Then the train arrives. The zombies are positioned already in front of the right door. They just step forward into the train without even looking off the book. They simply melt into the train and their bodies know what to do and you can see that they don’t even think in the process. Highly optimized and very impressive. And there are the newbies. They usually stand right in the middle between 2 doors and the decision process which door to use to enter the train is visible on their foreheads. You can smell the fear triggered by early closing doors or insecurity. In fact this permanently on-going confusion state is fascinating.

Once in the train the zombies collapse at any free seat or attach to the walls, continuing what they did all time, reading, smartphoning or looking bored. But all the zombies have something in common, not a single facial muscle moves. The newbies instead are telling stories with their facial expressions. They stop as soon as they entered the train, no matter if they are blocking the entrance, the aisle, the toilet or whatsoever. There is only one thought, orientation, now! Everything else around does not matter, first they have to scan the environment to handle the situation, usually combined with a 3 minute look to the cities train network map, followed by questions to random people around to get confirmations to be in the right train. They usually are.

Yesterday such a newbie lady has been directly behind me in the train. Both of us wanted to leave the train at the next station. There had been some delay and the train schedule was screwed up already and the train stopped for whatever reason shortly before entering the train station and the woman behind me tried to convince me to open the door since she needed to get out here. It took me some time to explain to her that the door does not open here whatever I try since the doors are locked as long as we are not reaching the station platform completely. Then the train started again to roll into the train station and I don’t know why, but I made a little joke towards that woman that we missed the station now and the train will not stop again. Oh boy, I shouldn’t have said this. I could see in her eyes the different scenarios she played in her head to throw me out of the train, if the door would have been open. Never ever make jokes about elderly newbie ladies. I still get goosebumps when thinking back to that situation.

But hell, even if I don’t like crowded places. This morning experience is worth it, definitely. A great start into an awesome day. A wonderful good morning to everybody! Yay!  😉