Ode to public transport: love it or hate it

Some say there is a very thin line between love and hate. Others say: love it or hate it, nothing in between. The latter means to have an attitude. BUT that doesn’t necessarily mean your opinion can’t, or would not, change. And that’s when you apply the former. Personally I think love/hate dilemma defines our stereotypical day-to-day lives – our attitudes often change like weather.

For instance my attitude towards the means of public transport changes constantly. I do not consider myself a born-to-drive type (during my driving license exam the examiner told me to give him a call whenever I am out driving my car so that he knows when’s best to stay at home just in case) so I have to stick with buses and trams and such.

To say I actually love traveling by bus is probably an exaggeration but I do find it very inspirational sometimes. One lifestyle journalist/writer once said that even though she could be driving, she uses public transport by choice because there is no place like buses or trains to seek inspiration for her stories. This I totally identify with, which is one of the reasons why I don’t mind, sometimes even like, traveling by bus.

My thanks for this occasional love of public transport goes to the tram driver who hanged candies by a tread all over the train together with a note: “please take, it’s my birthday today”. To the stranger dressed in a burgundy velvet suit with snake skin loafers because he totally made my day. To the cute grandma, who described every single object behind the window to her granddaughter with such patience, tenderness and love. To the woman who led a very funny phone conversation with a friend (I suppose) about her date last night because it was so hilarious. To the group of gypsy musicians who had turned my tedious journey into a decent bash. To all the people who had fallen asleep on the bus/tram/train with their mouths open because this always makes me laugh. And to the people who do all these little acts of kindness everyday just by letting old people to sit down, by helping you or smiling at you.

At the same time though, as I stated in my about section, I hate beyond measure when a stranger stands too close to me. It’s like when people with claustrophobia get funny feelings in confined spaces, I get a funny feeling when someone intrudes my personal space (in fact, who doesn’t?). In those cases no matter how inspirational this journey might be, I just can’t wait until the doors open and I can finally jump out of this human sardine can.

Apart from this reality, credits for my frequent hatred of buses go to: the weirdo, who thought it appropriate to stroke his one-eyed snake right in front of me (while trying to make it look like his hand is casually in his pocket). To the guy who was trying to pickpocket us in Barcelona. To the strange fellow, who grabbed me by my thigh just like that and pretended it to be an accident. To the group of half-wits who thought it very funny to insult a harmless homeless person in the tram. And to all those who clearly don’t get the unwritten, yet principal, rule of traveling by public transport: “Let people get off first before you get on!!!”

Simply…you can either (occasionally) love public transport or (mostly) hate it. Nothing in between. Or you can buy a car.

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