Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Wheels On the Bus...

Or train...or ferry...well not ferry. Ferries don't have wheels do they? I'll have to look into that. I don't think this will be a very long post but its something I've been thinking about the past few days. I'm from New York City. Staten Island to be specific and actually that's an important factor. I live on Staten Island but I work in Manhattan. Yep, I'm one of those commuter type of folks. Granted, I work nights so I don't go into work until the middle of the afternoon but honestly I think that traveling during the afternoon is an even bigger pain in the ass than commuting during rush hour. At least then, everything and everyone is prepared and expecting the large volume of people traveling. But in the middle of the afternoon, not so much. The other killer is the fact that I don't get off of work until what is pretty much considered "late night." Oh happy happy joy.

Since I live on Staten Island, most people assume I take the Staten Island Ferry. I do...occasionally. But I usually take the bus from my house into Brooklyn and then take the R train (and the N train) into the city. Why? Because the ferry in the middle of the afternoon is ridiculous. Most of the time it is one of the new ferries. Those are so cold and impersonal and terribly uncomfortable. Plus...there are tourists. And I'm not talking about at holiday times or times when you'd expect high tourist traffic. Oh no, this happens all year round. My question is...don't these people have lives and jobs? And don't their obnoxious children have school?! Tourists on the ferry are such a pain in the ass. I think they should create a separate ferry for them so they leave us poor mid-afternoon commuters alone. This is why I take the bus. It's generally peaceful save for the annoying teenagers or college kids. But I've learned how to ignore them for the most part. Unless they're being really bad. But more about that later.

When I take the ferry I'm a creature of habit. I mean I've been taking it for pretty much 23 years, except when I'm not in town. Even when I lived in Brooklyn I'd take the ferry back to visit friends, family, etc. Over these many years I've decided that I like to sit in certain parts of each ferry. What section, which seat, etc. I'm a little neurotic and maybe I have a little OCD. But whatever. Its more my habitual need for comfort. So, I do feel like my personal space has been invaded whenever people sit too close to me. But only if they're not with me. If my dad sat next to me I would not be bothered. The little girl I used to babysit always sat next to me which I thought was cute. But when a complete stranger sits right across from me or next to me it makes me annoyed and a bit uncomfortable. Especially if its not rush hour or a peak traveling time and there are plenty of other seats elsewhere. Take for example last night. I was traveling home from a very enjoyable evening with my friend Sarah and I got one of my favorite ferries. I love it because it is very warm in the winter. Mind you I'm on the 11pm ferry so it's not terribly crowded. While I'm catching up on the evening's tweets, these two foreign guys sit down directly across from me.

Let me say, I was not pleased. This particular ferry doesn't have very wide aisles and so with two strangers sitting right across from me, I feel cramped. There were plenty of other places for them to sit! And to make matters worse, one of them pulls out a banana and starts eating. Okay, I am not a fan of bananas and when I smell one I feel sick to my stomach. Even just smelling one in passing. Forget when it is right in my face. I was not a happy person. I know I probably sound like a whiny brat but I'm sorry. I should not have to be uncomfortable or annoyed on my trip home. That's why I don't like to eat while I travel; you never know who you may be offending with your food smells.

Then after the eventful and aggravating ferry ride, I take the bus home. I take the bus that has some of the most obnoxious passengers so I don't expect much. But I figured it was Thursday so maybe it wouldn't be so bad. I was terribly wrong. A very large group of very loud people proceed to get on my bus and talking obnoxiously loud their whole trip. Luckily they got off before me because I'd be so pissed if I spent my whole ride home with the people who believe using their outside voice is a way of life. I understand that they make have been traveling together or whatever but not everyone cares about their conversations. It's annoying and rude. Act like its 11 o'clock at night, not 11 o'clock in the morning. Loud travelers, no matter what time of the day is my biggest pet peeve, hence my comment about not liking to travel with teens.

All I want to say to my fellow commuters is please just be conscious of those around you. Just because you like to talk loud and eat bananas doesn't mean that everyone around you does too.

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