Thursday, July 03, 2008

My commute is too long.

Well, internet, what can I tell you? Yesterday I had a meeting downtown. The meeting lasted forty-five minutes and the transit to and from took about five and a half hours. Two there, forever back.

This is a function of the fact that in my recent move I travelled about twenty kilometres east. That doesn't sound like all that much but it makes all the difference because it adds a bridge to my commute.

Not only that, if you take transit (and I do) this means that there are also two sets of train tracks in the way. I happen to know of a route that doesn't involve train tracks and would shave 20 minutes off that bus trip but apparently Translink doesn't like that idea.

I'm not sure why the return trip always takes so long. Nothing ever seems to connect when I'm going that direction. Part of it may be that once whatever I needed to get to is finished I'm really not in much of a hurry to get home. Usually I have a pass so I'm in no danger of being caught without a fare if my trip goes over the one and a half hour limit.

I don't mind spending a lot of time on the bus. I get a lot of reading done and it's only truly miserable when I'm stuck standing and I haven't had anything to eat in twelve or more hours and I have a million things to do when I get home and the guy in front of me won't take his backpack off and it keeps hitting me in the face and it's either very hot or very wet out.

I don't know how people get angry about transit. I suppose it can be stressful if you are late for something, but that just happens sometimes, and even that doesn't really bother me much.

I don't know how people can sit down and meditate either. I had a teacher once in high school who used to assign meditation exercises in class and none of it ever worked. We'd all sit there with our eyes close and I'd feel really silly because my brain would be going in a million different directions.

But oddly enough, the bus is one of the few places where I can really be alone in my thoughts. I get all detached from the situation because the bus exists and I exist and everything else exists and stuff happens. I hesitate to call it zen because that's what everyone else would call it, but it's pretty calming. The downside, though, is that sometimes I really lose track of where I am. I blame all of this for the fact that I accidentally ended up in Surrey yesterday.

But in spite of all of this I still have to wonder why it takes so long to get anywhere.