As someone who is currently commuting to her internship and doesn’t have a car or drivers licence I wanted to discuss my current mode of transport with you. I mean public transport in some places is being made out as the most awful thing ever and I have quite a few friends who freak out if they have to take it, so let’s see if it’s really all that bad.
One downside certainly is it being busy especially during rush hour. I am quite lucky in that aspect that the train that I have to take isn’t that bad, but if you feel like you are stuck in one where it feels as if you are stacked in a can of sardines, because it’s so crowded and you can’t move, of course it sucks.
Which kind of leads to my next point: if it’s busy it’s super warm and sweaty, not just in the summer and sadly you find out that for some people deodorant is a choice and not a must which definitely doesn’t improve the whole smell situation. And yeah, I admit I have been on plenty of trains and busses that smelled like pee or alcohol and it was definitely not nice.
Another downside of public transport that there are times where train and bus schedules seem to have a life on their own and suddenly some of them decide not to run and turn into huge delays, which is never ever a good thing. I mean the amount of times I stressed about being late because my trains didn’t run as planned is incredible and while I was an Aupair and had to drop off the child at school by bus and the bus just wouldn’t show and we had to run to another bus stop was uncountable. Like wtf? Why can’t you just come on time! Just because you are having a shit day don’t make me late!
Another thing that annoys me about public transport are shit times is some areas. Take my 76 years old great aunt for example. She doesn’t feel save driving anymore which is fair enough, but she needs to rely on public transport to leave her village and on the weekend her bus runs 7 times a day between 10am and 7pm. Like every time she wants to be away longer than 7 she needs to take a taxi or has to hope that someone can drive her. Like that sucks. I wouldn’t want to be stuck in a village all the time or pay shit loads for taxis.
Although another thing is: it can be super expensive. True there are some places around the world where it’s not that bad. Like 1€ for a bus ticket in Italy, but usually it can get super expensive. Like I would use public transport way more often if it wouldn’t be expensive… This month I spend almost 150€ to go to a place 30 minutes away from me and a few other places because my monthly ticket is only valid on my way to work. Like what? In the town where I study in Scotland busses for students aren’t that bad but if you don’t have a student card you pay £2.40 for a SINGLE???? Like what??
Anyways let’s talk about the advantages of public transport. And yes believe me there are some at least for me.
First of the classic it’s good for the environment argument. Cause yes if we all go individually our greenhouse gas emissions will rocket and we’ll destroy our beautiful Earth even quicker than we are currently doing it anyways.
Secondly, I mean if all trains come when they are supposed to they’ll be certain to not get into traffic jams, surprising I know. But what I am trying to say is that my dad has to travel nearly the same way as me each morning, he takes the car, I take the train. If my trains are not late I am so much quicker than he is because of traffic jams. And in London as well, the tube is so much faster than any car when there is traffic.
And of course when you don’t have to yell at all these idiots driving at the same time, you have more time to relax and enjoy yourself. Like I find going on trains and busses super relaxing, I can listen to music, read, watch things on my phone, sleep, basically anything I want that is not disturbing everyone else. Which is awesome. Plus it gives me time to wake up in the morning. I used to live really close to school so by the time I got to school I was barely alive. When I am taking public transport I actually have time to feel alive by the time I get to work. And let’s be real, ´Train/ bus thoughts are on a similar level to shower thoughts.
Speaking of work, you can get a lot of things done on the train. For example this blogpost has been written on the train because I actually had time to sit down and think about things while going to work. And I know that’s why my dad likes to take the train to other places in Germany because he can use the travel time as work time.
I know strangers are terrifying and stuff, but sometimes on the train you can meet super interesting people. Like on Sunday when I was traveling to the airport in London on the train I met a very lost, older, Brazilian man who I then ended up helping to get to his terminal and he turned out to be a super lovely and interesting man, like he is a neuroscientist for early childhood development and gets to travel quite a lot and the things he could tell me were amazing. I mean I know that this is not always the case and often enough there are people on the train that I’d love to slap for being super annoying and super loud, but hey you always got the chance to be surrounded by annoying people no matter where you go.
Another thing I absolutely love is people watching like the man across from me in a suit what is he tapping his foot along to? Is he a secret heavy metal lover? Or is that Taylor Swift coming through his headphones? The woman typing angrily in her phone did she have a fight with her boyfriend, are her parents being impossible again, or did we beat friend sleep with that guy again that she promised to stay away from? That young woman in the suit with the suitcase where is she traveling to? Is she living a jet setting life and is currently on her way to the airport to quickly fly to a business meeting in New York before she then just jumps on a plane to Japan to have lunch with her super successful boyfriend who is a banker in Japan?
Like making up stories in your head for random people you see on a train can be super fun, because you usually have such a diverse group of people that you can make up any kind of story you want.
I know that I said earlier that public transport can be stupidly expensive, BUT if you take coaches for example they are super cheap. I mean a couple of weeks ago I got a RETURN ticket to London from Scotland that cost me a whole £ 4. Yup, you just read four. I mean no train or plane can compete with that. Yes it takes for ages to do that trip, but again you can basically do anything you want and I quite enjoy it.
My last point is that if you’re commuting on public transport it feels like you belong to a certain group of people and that group of people are the commuter gang and being part of that group actually feels really good. I mean I was terrified of it because it felt like such an adult thing but I am actually finding it quite fun and enjoyable, so my lovely people, don’t be afraid of it.
Basically what I am trying to say, yes public transport can be annoying and there are some horror stories about the use of public transport, but to be honest it’s not all bad and I absolutely love it and I can actually see me do it for as long as I work because I wouldn’t want the stress of having to drive back after an already stressful day at work.
Lots of love,