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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.