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Thursday, 11 December 2014

Post transit travesty

One of the downfalls that comes with taking transit everywhere is having to walk home from transit at the end of the day.

That's exactly what I was doing tonight after finishing (and hoping to forget about) my last final and celebrating with my classmates after. It was after midnight when I was walking home from the bus. I'm tired; I have my headphones in; I just want to be home and I'm not interested in talking to anyone. I'm waiting to cross the street when I think I hear someone in the lone car at the intersection say something to me. Now I'm tired and my brain is fried from finals, so at first I assume they must be lost (because why else do you strike up a conversation at a crosswalk at midnight) and it takes a few seconds for my inner skeptic to kick in. By the time I realize it's just a couple dudes in the car, not so much lost as pathetic and starved for attention, I've already made eye contact. They say something else I can't hear because...well, headphones, but I give them a wave (because thanks for not running me down with your car I guess) and carry on crossing the street...because what the heck else did they think I would do.

Then as I pass the car I hear the one guy say, "The least you could do is say hi." No, jackass, the least I could do is completely ignore you and pretend like your pathetic existence isn't ruining my perfectly peaceful walk home.

Friday, 5 December 2014

More like two busses away

It's amazing how many fewer transit travesties you experience when your over an hour plus transfers crazy person bus rides turn into one 20 minute bus ride through a nice residential neighborhood.

Now I've gotten a little spoiled with Seattle having the One Bus Away app. It's great because you can zoom in to any portion of the map of Seattle and see where the bus stops are, which busses stop there and when they are going to arrive updated in real time....sort of. Which brings us to today's frustration.

I leave my office and go out to catch my bus. It's supposed to arrive in 6 minutes. When I get to the bus stop, I check one bus away: it says my bus is 5 minutes early. Awesome! I get to leave in a minute and be home early (more time for my take home midterm). Three minutes later, still no bus. Check one bus away: your bus is only 3 minutes early, it's arriving NOW. Ok, still early, great. Three more minutes, still no bus. Check one bus away: your bus is on time, it's arriving NOW. Sure, where have I heard that before. Five more minutes, still no bus. Check one bus away: your bus left 3 minutes late, it arrives in -2 minutes. No one bus away, no it did not. I would know, I've been standing here over 10 minutes now watching for it. Couple minutes later, check one bus away: previous bus has disappeared off the app, your next bus arrives in 10 minutes. A likely story...

(Update: after 20 minutes sitting at a bus stop when I could have been working in my office that is 45 seconds away, I'm finally on a bus!)

Friday, 3 October 2014

Adding injury to insult

For 3 days in a row now, I've arrived at the intersection across from my bus stop only to stand across the busy highway waiting an eternity for the light to change while watching my bus pull up to the stop, load and then drive away. Of course you know that the light changes 30 seconds after the bus pulls away.

As if that's not a crappy enough way to start my day, when I finally get on the bus I'm sitting in a seat minding my own business when some guy decides he wants to try to walk to the front of the bus while it's moving. This requires him to walk through the accordion part of the bus where there are limited handles. Clearly he does not understand his own balance limitations, because if he did he would have known that was a bad idea. Because if the bus happens to lurch while you're walking you might have to slam your foot down to catch your balance and it could land with the full force of your fat ass on some poor unsuspecting girl's foot.

My toes are still burning. TGIF?

Friday, 26 September 2014

Seattle Freeze

If you haven't heard of the Seattle freeze, apparently it's basically a way of saying it's hard to make friends in Seattle. Either people are just hard to get to know or they will be really nice and friendly when they meet you, but then when you suggest subsequent activities, they flake out or don't follow up. Personally I thought that was just called life, but I guess the rest of the world thinks it's a Seattle thing.

One place where I didn't think this would be a problem, in fact it even seemed like a plus, is on the bus. What I didn't take into account was the "really friendly when they first meet you" part. Seriously, am I wearing a sign that says "please chat me up on the bus"? From crazy lady the other day, to a guy yesterday trying to chat about my hair (he was either gay or trying to hit on me...either way I was tired, trying to read about stereographic projections and not having any of it) and then today some lady asked about when the bus was coming and then proceeded to tell me how she was going to be late for an appointment and that she commutes every day but doesn't work Fridays and that her niece is 16 but she's in college and on the swim team and working and...


I miss Vancouver, where you could ride the bus in silence and everyone was more than happy to pretend no one else existed. Now that's how you do a freeze.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

There's a first time for everything

I have on occasion considered getting off transit to get away from someone, but I'd never actually done it until today.

I saw a single open seat on the bus when I got on, so I sat down. The woman next to me seemed completely absorbed in her phone. Perfect. When she finally looked up it was to ask if we were at street X; I was confused at first, but then I realized we were in fact more than 100 blocks north of X. That should have been my first clue.

A few more minutes pass and she decides she gonna start talking to me. I try to listen at first to be polite. She's complaining about a transit fine because she missed her stop and rode to the end of the line and stayed on the bus when it turned around so she didn't reswipe her pass. I'm smiling and nodding, not actually saying more than 2 words at a time; haven't even taken out my headphones. She continues to tell me that she was going to her boyfriend's house, but she missed the stop because she was "messed up". Uh oh, red flag number 2.

Then it gets weird. She starts talking like she knows me.
Her: "you're married right?"
Me: "uh, no" (super confused because I'm not even wearing my decoy ring)
Her: "but you have a baby right?"
Me: ""
She goes on to explain that I look like another girl with a baby that she met on the bus and that girl is pregnant, but I don't look pregnant. This naturally led into a story about a dude who thought she was pregnant once because she was wearing a big hoody with stuff in the pockets. She then continues her rant about guys by explaining she has a guy friend who really wants to sleep with her, which is messed up because she has a boyfriend and she's no cheater. Of course, this is still awkward, but I thought we established that she doesn't actually know me.

No such luck.
Her: "so how long have you been at Y?"
Me (having no idea what Y is, but not wanting to be forthcoming with personal info to a stranger on the bus): "a little while"
Her: "like a few years?"
Me: "oh not that long?"
Her: "I've been there about 8 years. So you know there's this white girl there and she's with this Puerto Rican guy. You know them right?"
Me (still with headphones in, music on and not really making eye contact): "uh, no"
Her: "oh really, you don't know them? Well they have a baby and it's like the cutest baby..."
Me: "oh yeah..."
At this point it's pretty clear there is no stopping her, nor is there any making sense of what is coming out of her clearly drug-addled brain. So at the next stop, I'm out.
Me: "well, this is my stop" (totally not my stop, not even within reasonable walking distance to my stop)
Her: "okay, thanks for listening to my..."
I have no idea how that sentence ended; I just smiled and nodded as I hauled ass off that bus.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

I should have been almost home by now

Remember that time I was at grad school orientation and after a long first day of TA training, we had a BBQ in the park and then we went out to a pub. But I was super responsible (and very tired) and left early. Then I was super pumped because my bus stop was right outside the pub and the bus showed up 30 seconds after I got there. Then I was totally on time to make my connecting bus and I could see the bus at the stop when I got there, so I booked it up a flight of stairs only to wave at the driver as she took off without me. So then I sat and wasted 15 more minutes waiting for the next bus at 9:30 at night when I still had about a 30 minute trip home AND homework to do for my next day of TA training. Remember that time? Those were good times.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Transit Transplant

Today was my first day on transit in a new city: Seattle! I've only been on 2 different buses so far, but perhaps not surprisingly, it's not much different from Vancouver. Get on, pay, try to find a seat, don't make eye contact, watch for your stop, get off. There's the usual collection of characters: the average folk, the weirdos, old people, children, and a bus driver who also comes in a variety of flavors.

Of course, there are some differences. The local buses seem quite old. They still have stairs to get on them; I felt really bad watching old people trying to get on the bus. There's no skytrain equivalent going to where I'm living, but they do have what are called RapidRide buses. They have a dedicated lane on the road to avoid traffic; they stop every 5 or 10 blocks; the buses are more like the ones in Vancouver - only one step to get on and wheelchair ramp equipped; AND's the best part ...they have free wifi on the bus! No travesty there.

All in all, getting from my place to the university was pretty simple and even without a skytrain, it took less time than it used to take me to get to SFU. There was only one small hiccup in my day. During my trip I had to transfer from bus 1 to bus 2. The google instructions told me to get off bus 1 at the corner of X and Y and to get on bus 2 at the corner of X and Y. Simple, right? Get off bus, cross street to other bus stop, board other bus...Wrong! How it actually went: Get off bus, realize there is no cross street because you're standing on a highway overpass, walk down set of nearby stairs, still no sign of said cross street, walk along parallel street which forms strange triangle with 2 other streets - neither of which is one you're looking for, cross the road and head towards underpass, breath sigh of relief when you finally see a bus stop. I'm sure it won't be the last time I have no idea where I'm going, but for now, I think I at least have that intersection figured out.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Are you a stripper?

No? Then you probably don't need to wrap your whole body around the pole at the front of the bus so that I am left trying to hang on to those stupid rails above my head for balance. Especially when today's bus driver had clearly never heard of gradual acceleration or taking it easy in the corners. Because what I really wanted was to feel like my shoulder was going to be ripped from its socket just so that you could drape yourself comfortably all over the handrail.

Monday, 14 July 2014

This is why we use our feet to get around campus

Some lady on the 145 this afternoon absolutely lost her sh*t.

There's construction on campus, so buses are detouring from their usual routes. Today, as happens on occasion, the bus skipped all but one campus stop and went straight off the hill to avoid construction delay. Granted, the driver probably should have made an announcement that this was happening, but given that the only woman who seemed to have a problem with it didn't speak a lick of English, I doubt it would have helped.

As soon as we passed the turn that would have kept us on campus, she realized what had happened and she lost it. She ran to the front doors and started screaming at the driver. Of course she was screaming in, let's call it Asian (I don't think it was Chinese, but it could have just been her shrill screaming that made it sound different...doesn't matter...point is it wasn't English) so the driver couldn't talk to her if he wanted to. But her point was clear. She wanted off the bus like the world was ending. She screamed and hit the bus doors. She almost grabbed the driver. She shrieked in what seemed like a desperate plea for help towards the back of the bus. No dice. She was repeatedly informed by the driver that the bus was not stopping. She began to sob like someone had died. She continue to hit the doors and scream through the weeping (I may have a voice recording to add to this post later this is a short snippet of what happened; the dying farm animal sound is the woman crying and this was after she had tired out some). I wish I had taken a video; it was easily in the top 3 most dramatic transit incidents I have witnessed.

About halfway down the hill, some Asian speaking good samaritan went to talk to her, presumably to figure out why the desperation and to explain that the problem could be remedied by another 15 minute bus ride. She seemed slightly less insane for the remainder of the ride, which is good, because even tiny old Asian ladies are scary when they have that much crazy behind them.

A trilogy of non-occurances

It's like the honorable mention of bad transit behavior today; three things that are worth noting but by themselves no longer warrant a whole post (it's amazing what you become accustomed to on transit).

First there was the girl who made the bad miniskirt choice. I got a great picture of it following her into Tim Horton's, but then she held the door open for me, smiled and waited as had to I catch up to her (because I had paused behind her to take said embarrassing photo, the irony is not lost on me). Then I felt bad, so this post will be without photo (see, I do have a soul).

Then a guy got on the skytrain with a bike (pretty sure that's not allowed during rush hour, but it's almost never big deal) ...and a shopping cart. Does skytrain even have rules about shopping carts during rush hour? Other than being a bit strange though, it was basically a non event. He told some guy he needed the space that guy was standing in; so the guy went and took an empty seat. Clearly he was very put out by the whole thing.

Then I got on the bus. Got a seat after waiting one full bus, and then watched from that seat as the bus driver purposefully and repeatedly tried to close the bus doors as another skytrain full of people ran to get on the bus. It happens so often I think it must be in the bus driver handbook somewhere: "Weekly quotas. (a) Cause 4 people to fall over due to your driving. (b) Leave behind at least 2 skytrain loads of people. (c) Leave a stop before 1 person can get off." Of course being the person already on the bus with a seat, it suits me just fine to leave before the bus is crammed full, but I've been on the other side of the doors and it sucks.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Maybe take the elevator next time

This week the escalator at King George station is closed for maintenance, as it is at least once a month. It's a minor inconvenience for most of us; we don't get to the platform as fast; we get stuck behind slow walkers; we have to share the stairs with people walking down. However, for one guy this morning, it seemed like an obstacle course.

He was probably older middle aged and he was walking alright, albeit slow, until halfway up the steps. Then just as some girl went to pass him, he lost his footing and went elbows first onto the landing. I don't think passing girl precipitated the fall, but she did nearly land on top of him when he went down. A few people around him asked the perfunctory "Are you okay?" (which I hate asking, btw, since if they are fine I'm sure they'd just as soon pretend it didn't happen, and if they aren't fine I guess I could call 911 if it's really bad, but that's basically all I'm good for; I couldn't actually help you). He seemed fine. He got up and kept walking, at which point I passed him, because he's slow and I see a train in the station. Then as I leave the stairs and turn to get on the train, out of the corner of my eye I see some type of kerfuffle at the top of the stairs; I look back and notice a few people gathered there and no sign of fallen guy ... because as it turns out, he's fallen again, which I notice because I see him getting up just as the train doors close.

Maybe it's insensitive of me, and maybe I should be more concerned why that man kept falling down, but he seemed like a medical emergency waiting to happen, so frankly, I'm just glad that trainwreck wasn't on my train.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Transit Protip

When riding the bus, I always start by putting my bag on the seat next to me. Then as the bus fills up, I watch for someone who looks relatively sane and like they have good personal hygiene. As they walk towards me, I move my bag, which almost always results in them sitting next to me. There's probably some subtle (or not so subtle) psychology behind this, but all I can say for sure is it usually works.

Of course the success of this plan also hinges on your ability to judge a book by its cover; after so many years of transit riding, it is something I'm quite skilled at already. Now I realize this type of behavior is generally discouraged in polite society, but I'm not picking a new BFF here, just trying not to sit next to a chatty Cathy who smells like a BO soaked ashtray.

(As you may have guessed, this protip is brought to you by a day on which I didn't follow my own advice and spent a bus ride sucking back stale cigarette stench. Yum.)

Thursday, 26 June 2014

The last step is the hardest

Why is it that people's walking speed is proportional to how close they are to the top of the escalator? Large distance = large speed ... Little distance = little speed.
If Newton had escalators, there would be an addendum to the first law of motion: An object in motion stays at a constant velocity unless acted upon by an outside force OR unless said object is approaching the top of an escalator.

Luckily, I wasn't rushing to catch a train today when the girl in front of me decided that the last 5 steps were just not worth the effort so she stopped walking and rode it out. It never ceases to amaze me when people sprint up the escalator only to realize that it's not their train at the station, so they slow right down and cause a bottleneck at the top. Because no one behind you could possibly be trying to catch that train, and besides, you just sprinted up a flight and a half of stairs, you need that cool down time to start ASAP.

I promise, guys, maintaining speed for that last half dozen steps will not kill you. (If it does, you probably shouldn't be walking up escalators in the first place.)

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

How to compound my already low opinion of you

Not sure if you can see it in this picture or not, but if you're gonna be the guy sitting with his legs spread wide open, taking up the 'man space' you seem to think you're entitled to, you might want to do up your fly.

Boots or booty?

It doesn't matter how many times I see this (and I see it enough that I'm pretty sure this is my second blog post about it), I still don't get it. Is this the younger generation's version of socks and sandals?

"I wasn't sure if it was a shorts day or a boots day today I wore both! Problem solved." I realize that Vancouver has basically 2 seasons, cool & wet and warm & less wet, and that the transition between them can be confusing at times, but on no day EVER have I been conflicted between wearing fur boots or booty shorts.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

It's really amazing that I managed to keep my clothes on the whole ride

So I'm eavesdropping on the bus this morning (not actively, but they are right beside me and I can't help but hear them) when I hear two things that I'm certain mean this conversation will be good fodder for later mocking. They are talking about "relationships" and "high school". Oh boy. I stop to actively eavesdrop. I wish I had just recorded the whole conversation, but alas you will have to settle for the Cliffs Notes version, mostly of what he said; she wasn't that interesting.

The first thing I hear is him mocking his own view of relationships in high school. I suppose that's fair, especially given that his view was "I just thought that if you had a crush on someone, you tell them that you like them and then you're like boyfriend and girlfriend. No dates; no compatibility checking; you just tell someone you like them and then you're in a relationship."
From here the conversation takes a turn to pre-Facebook social media (Facebook didn't even exist when I was in high school and even I sometimes have trouble imagining there was life before fb!) They are now talking about MSN messenger, of which I am old enough to have fond memories. She is reminiscing about its eventual decline and he pipes up that he basically only used it for video chats.
Her: "Oh yeah, I remember those video chats."
Him: "Oh, you don't know about my video chats, do you?"
He says this like they were some epic legend that most of his friends are already aware of. (Going out on a limb here before he gets to explain, I'm guessing his video chats are actually only legendary in his own mind and that I can guess exactly what was involved in these "chats".) Sure enough he goes on to explain that girls really liked to strip for him. (I would say that any of a variety of non-PC slut-shaming adjectives apply here, but I'm pretty sure legendary is not one of them.)
Him: "I wasn't even popular in high school. But a lot of girls just wanted to do me. I don't know why they liked me so much."
I don't know why either. Strangely I'm feeling no desire to take my clothes off...

Now girl goes on some rant about how people found out your email address/how they got in contact with you/being added by people you didn't know. I dunno exactly. It doesn't really matter what she was saying; the important part is that it spurred Mr. Self-declared chick bait into talking about how "this one girl added me and I didn't even know who she was. But she started video chatting me all the time. Then one day I accepted a chat with her and she just started taking her clothes off. This was like grade 9."
Cue more self-deprecation.
"I don't even know why girls liked me. I was a skinny little Hindu kid. I had nasty little curly pubes on my chin."
Alright humble-bragger, we get it. You were a loser and yet had a magical ability to make girls' clothes fall off. Taking a huge stab in the dark here, but I'm guessing it had less to do with you and more to do with the girls. I know it's been a few years since I was in high school, but I don't think it's changed much; for that matter, I don't think people change that much.

At this point the bus is coming to the last stop. The conversation (or at least my passive participation therein) concludes with the girl asking if his current girlfriend knows about said video chats. He is quick to respond that she doesn't, which seems to please the girl. Too bad I didn't get a picture of him; otherwise I'd say, maybe she knows now...
Opportunity missed.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Emergency brakes

If you've been on skytrain lately, you may have noticed they have started to make random announcements telling people to make sure they are holding on to a handrail at all times while on the train. Now let me tell you why this is important. It's because sometimes you'll be just outside a station and a track intrusion alarm (not audible btw, so you don't know it's coming) will go off causing your train to slam on its emergency brakes. The train will stop very suddenly. You will probably go flying forward or sideways and practically crush the hand of the poor girl next to you despite holding on to the rail (my apologies to that girl). If you weren't hanging on, well then her whole body may have been crushed.

Added bonus: when the transit officials come to check the track and make sure it is safe to send your train on its way, if you are lucky, there will be a guy on the train with a bike during rush hour who will be informed that this is not allowed and that the train will not be allowed to leave until he gets off. He will say he's not getting off and that he's only got one stop left. No one will care if he stays because the train is far from full, except of course the angry transit lady who will not let the train go until he takes the bike off the train.
Now I'm certainly all about having rules on transit, but the spirit of the "no bikes in rush hour" rule is hardly being broken when the train is not full.

Monday, 5 May 2014

This story doesn't really belong here

I was at Columbia this afternoon waiting to change trains. I was standing just outside the open doors of the train I wasn't taking when I spotted a guy running up the stairs obviously trying to catch the train, and he was not going to make it. So I stuck my arm in the train door to hold it open for him. Now the transit officials don't much like when you do this sort of thing, but they weren't around, and besides, by now, the number of times I wish someone had done this for me is probably higher than I care to count. He made it onto the train, and I choose to believe his day was better for it.

Now if I was a proper feminist, here is where I go on a rant about how he called me "sweetheart" as he got on the train. However, I'm not a proper feminist, so it didn't really bother me; also, I am a jaded transit rider used to dealing with people who are frequently rude and obnoxious, and what really caught my attention was that what preceded that "sweetheart" was "thanks". There's a word you don't hear nearly enough on transit. He also sounded genuinely surprised that someone would hold the door for him, which he shouldn't be if people would just follow the ultimate transit rule: "Make transit suck less for others, not more."

Monday, 28 April 2014

50 Shades of Confusing

Reading is good. At least, that's what people who read are always telling me. I'm fairly certain though that not all reading is created equal. A hundred pages of Twilight does not equal a hundred pages of War and Peace. Of course, different books will appeal to different audiences, and that is where my confusion for the day occurs.

I was riding on the skytrain next to some 20-something looking guy. He was in track pants and a t-shirt, carrying what appeared to be some form of sports bag. My first clue to expect the unexpected with this guy should have been when he sat down and didn't smell like an old sweat sock, but rather like laundry fresh from the dryer. I may have proceeded to read a few of his text messages over his shoulder, but this is somewhat difficult to do and they appeared mostly uninteresting. (One of them did mention some other dude hitting puberty, which seemed weird, but I'm really hoping it was just very mildly worded mocking of said other dude.) Then he pulled out a book. It seems that he was unabashedly and in public reading 50 Shades of Grey. Now not having read the book myself, perhaps I have misjudged the target audience, but I was pretty sure it was not 20-something year old boys. I guess maybe he's working his way up to War and Peace, while he stimulates his, um, brain with some reading.

Monday, 31 March 2014

Have you never ridden a crowded skytrain?

The skytrain was extra special crowded from Columbia today. I spent a couple stops trapping some poor short Asian man in a perma-side-hug because it was the only way I could reach the handrail. Sorry, dude. My personal space didn't enjoy it much either. But those are the joys of the skytrain at rush hour; personal space invasion, being trapped in awkward positions, jostling, shoving to get on and off are all par for the course.

Some guy apparently didn't get the memo. Now I don't exactly know what happened, because my back was to the situation and I had my headphones in, so I didn't hear what was going on until it deteriorated into shouts of "don't push me" with some f-bombs interspersed. From the limited context it seemed as though one man had shoved his way onto the train and a second man didn't like that. (By the time I heard the shouting, no actual shoving was occurring.) Upon exiting the train, I walked past the second man, who was still insisting on shouting at the first man something about how he let him off the train without pushing him. Then he called the first man a little girl (wow, good one sir, if you were both 5, I bet that would be really hurtful).

Now like I said, I didn't actually see the inciting incident, but I'd have to imagine it wasn't a full on two hands to the chest, let's rumble push, otherwise it would have ended in more than shouting like petulant children. And really, anything less than that is basically fair game on a crowded train.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

This is not your bathroom

I can understand the confusion. After all, it's not entirely uncommon for the skytrain to smell like a public washroom. However that doesn't change the fact that it is not one. Now I suppose that just because I personally don't like to leave my house without my face on doesn't mean some people won't take advantage of the extra few minutes of sleep by doing their makeup on the train. I can accept this. It's a relatively contained process that's not loud or particularly messy and it doesn't result in bodily debris being strewn around the skytrain. But then there's the hairbrushing. While it's still not the worst of the offenses that fall under the "keep it in your bathroom category", it does break transit rule #4 ( So regardless of how clean and lice free her hair appeared, I really didn't need locks of long ginger hair from the girl sitting in front of me all over my backpack this morning.

Just say no to sharing yourself with others on public transit...especially without their consent (or really even with their consent, but that's another post).

Thursday, 13 March 2014

It's bound to happen, but I really wish it wouldn't

I'm minding my own business, riding the skytrain at the end of the day. When suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, a cloud of stench wafts passed my nostrils, followed by the immediate and horrid realization that it has happened. Someone farted on the skytrain. Now maybe this isn't the worst of all possible offenses, after all it is transient and occasionally unavoidable. However, it's also unexpected and anonymous. This means you can't escape it or prepare for it; it's not like the guy talking to himself or a woman with a screaming toddler - the trouble you can see coming. There's also no one to blame, because last I checked, no one is holding up a sign that says, "It was me. I farted." So now there's not even anyone to be mad at. So tempting as it may be to let one rip while riding transit, perhaps you could not ... or at least wait for the doors to be open so the draft can clear the smell.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Ding, ding, ding

Ever been on a skytrain with malfunctioning doors? I had the immense pleasure of riding home on one this afternoon. It goes a little something like this...

Skytrain: "Ding, ding, ding" *doors close, brief pause, doors open partway*
My brain: "Alright who's the idiot blocking the doors?"
Skytrain: "Ding, ding, ding" *doors close, brief pause, doors open partway*
My brain: "Seriously, get out of the doorway."
Skytrain: "Ding, ding, ding" *doors close, brief pause, doors open partway*
My brain: "Okay, if you were within arms reach I would shove you off the train myself."
Skytrain: "Ding, ding ding" *doors close, brief pause, doors open all the way*

My brain: "...Oh no...broken doors."

Skytrain: "Ding, ding, ding" *doors close*
My brain: "Yay, fixed!"
*brief pause, doors open partway*
My brain: "Oh shi..."
Skytrain: "Ding, ding, ding" *doors close, brief pause, doors open partway*
My brain: "You've got to be kidding me?!"
Skytrain: "Ding, ding, ding" *doors close, brief pause, doors open partway*
My brain: "Ugh. Kill me now."
Skytrain: "Ding, ding, ding" *doors close, brief pause, doors open partway*
My brain: "@#?&£@€& !!!"
Skytrain: "Ding, ding, ding" *doors close, brief pause, doors open all the way*

My brain: "That's it. We're getting off this train. They're gonna make us exit and take the next train."

Skytrain: "Ding, ding, ding" *doors close, brief pause, doors stay closed!*
My brain: "FREAKING YAY!"

So then we get to the next stop. And I figure they would have made us change trains if our doors were broken, so clearly they will close without incident this time.

Skytrain: "Ding, ding, ding" *doors close, brief pause, doors open partway*
What's that? You don't want to read the whole shtick all over again? The hope followed by the agony followed by the hope followed by the despair accompanied by the incessant dinging. Yeah, well I didn't want to relive it, and yet I had to.
I got off at the next stop.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

The wet dog effect

Aside from the dampness, the lack of umbrella etiquette and just general unpleasantness of being on transit in the pouring rain, there's the smell; the skytrain or bus always has this faint smell of eau de wet dog when it's really raining. Today was particularly unpleasant as someone got on the skytrain one stop after me, not just smelling like wet dog which my brain has grown blissfully accustomed to ignoring, but smelling like they had taken a pair of dirty old sweat socks, dipped them in a puddle and carried them onto the train. It was a downright vile, sour, putrid smell; the kind that just when you think you've stopped smelling it you get a fresh waft that makes you uncontrollably contort your face in disgust. It was just how I wanted to start my morning.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

You're not fooling anyone

Guy got on the skytrain this afternoon drinking out of a can wrapped in a plastic bag. Anyone want to guess what was in the can? Anyone think it was coke? What's one? Seriously dude, even if the can in a bag makes it slightly less obvious that you're drinking anything at all, you still smell like beer.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

I think he may have taken a seriously wrong turn on his commute this morning

There's "I didn't know it would be snowing on campus" and then there's this guy. The picture is a bit blurry because I was trying to capture him as I walked, but you get the idea. He's in not just shorts, but white shorts and flip flops. Maybe he thought he was getting on the bus to Bermuda this morning, but he was mistaken. He was poorly prepared when it was just cold and rainy, but then we got to SFU and it was snowing. He may have had a sweatshirt and an umbrella, but I'm pretty sure neither of those keep your toes from freezing off.

Monday, 17 February 2014

There should be a personality assessment before you buy a plane ticket; if you fail, you have to ride with the cargo.

Today's transit travesty takes place in a different setting. I'm on a flight from Chicago to San Francisco. I'm already unhappy because my original flight was cancelled, so I'm stuck taking 3 flights instead of 2 and I'm getting home about 9 hours later than anticipated. The plane is basically full and I'm in a window seat, which I hate. There's not even enough legroom for me to cross my legs and I'm pretty sure you had to be a member of Cirque du Soleil to get anything out of your bag from under the seat in front of you. Then, of course, the guy in front of me decides he needs to have his seat reclined as far back as it will go, leaving me with essentially zero personal space. Fine. People are entitled to put their seat back on a flight if they want. But of course, it doesn't stop there.
A short while into the flight I discover he's a wiggler, shifting back and forth in his seat, stretching, putting his arms in the air and grabbing the back of his head rest which is essentially right in my face. Not gonna lie, by the third or fourth time his hands invaded my limited personal space bubble, I seriously considered licking his fingers to deter him from doing it again. But I didn't, because EWWW. 
Now the seat next to Stretchy McSpaceInvader is empty, so halfway through the flight he reclines that chair too. My supervisor is in the seat next to me and now he can't work on his laptop, so he asks the guy to put the *empty* seat back up. And you know what the guy says? "Actually it bothers me when it's not reclined." Ummm …. what?! Gee, I'm sorry the lovely empty seat next to you bothers you, but it bothers me that you are a douche, so I guess we all lose today. 

My supervisor actually had to get the flight attendant to make Stretch put the seat up.  Of course, Stretch did not go down without a fight. When the flight attendant told him he was lucky that no one was sitting next to him he replied that he would actually prefer to have someone in the seat, because then they would have the seat reclined anyway. First of all, not necessarily, you are an idiot. Secondly, you didn't pay for that seat so why are we even having this conversation. And third, the flight attendant responded that if someone was sitting there that person's arm would be there to bother him. I should have started kicking his seat, but there was literally not enough room for my legs to make a kicking motion. 

But, seriously, are you kidding me, dude? It's a plane. We're all uncomfortable, so join the club. Suck it up. Put on your big boy panties and act like a man, not like a spoiled toddler. 

Monday, 3 February 2014

Transit Rule #5 ...maybe? I've lost count.

And then some guy across from me on the skytrain kept picking his beard, which leads me to the following super simple transit rule: "Don't pick ANY of your body parts on transit."
Just, eww.


I'm sitting on the bus in an aisle seat, minding my own business. There's a woman standing in the aisle beside me but facing the other direction. There's some space between me and her, maybe half a person's worth. Then more people start getting on the bus. It's not full, but we're near the front so people getting on the front door want to move past us. Apparently, standing girl was oblivious to how much space was behind her, because she just stood there as people tried to get around her. Now I can hardly blame the people getting on the bus for repeatedly attacking my head with their backpacks or elbows; no, I blame standing girl for not doing what she should have done and what everyone else was trying to do and (sing it with me...) MOVING TO THE BACK OF THE BUS!

Luckily, I wasn't even finished typing this post when I got to take out my aggression on some dimwit who didn't understand escalators. I realize it must be hard to figure out what to do when everyone in front of you who is standing on the escalator has moved to the right. I'll give you a hint: the answer is not "stand on the left side of the escalator". A lesson which I imagine he learned rather quickly when I "accidentally" bumped into him from the back and then the side as I passed him on the right trying to walk up the escalator.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014


This is not my usual angry rant about transit behavior. Just an observation. And an offer of 100 OCD points if you can spot what is wrong with this picture.

Friday, 10 January 2014

It's a win-win

Dear people who smoke and take transit,
As much as I love not only when you smoke in the line for the bus so I can't escape your second-hand death, but also when the bus is crowded and being pressed up against you is like having my face rubbed in a dirty ash tray ... How about you do us all a favor and give up the cigarettes? Maybe you'll save enough money to buy a car and get off transit, or maybe you'll just stop smelling like crap and less people will have the desire to vomit on you during your commute. Either way, everybody wins.

Two for the price of one?

It's my first day back on transit in the new year and I'm already peeved. Now the 145 was by no means full this morning, but there were certainly people who had to stand. So to the oblivious girl in the picture...Did you buy a ticket for your backpack? No. Then let's pretend for 15 minutes that you're not an ignorant self-centered jackhole and you put your backpack on your lap and stop taking up 2 seats!
Thanks so much and you have a happy new year.