All Your Commute Are Belong To Bus

Liesl's Bus?
Liesl’s Bus?

I commute, yes? I can’t say it’s an interesting experience, because it’s all I’ve ever known. I know nothing outside of my familiar, demonic TTC bus route and Finch-University-Spadina Subway line. Okay, that was a stretch, but… yeah.

Anyway, my commute from Unidentified Suburban Land takes me roughly and hour and a half… three hours if there is a snowstorm (and if SCHOOL IS CANCELLED WHEN I ARRIVE). I myself wouldn’t say it’s an exuberantly far distance, but it can be quite limiting and does take up a good part out my day and soul. It also makes it hard to stay out partying and being young and whatnot. I am generally exhausted upon returning to my abode, despite barely doing anything while in transit.

I can get up at 7:30 a.m, depart with the mother unit and get to school a tad bit early, or I can sleep in for thirty minutes and essentially doom myself. If class begins at 11, I must leave around 9. If I wake at 8 a.m., the hour I have to prepare for the day cannot satisfy my indecisive samba around the house. I don’t know why, but I can never decide what I want to wear without planning something brilliant the night before/pulling out the perfect shirt upon my first reach into my atrocious dresser. I’m one of those ‘what I feel like’ people. Feelings and new age cooties and the like. If I don’t wear something distinctly ‘me’, I might miss out on that one person who will walk up me and say “Where’d you get that cool shirt?” and I say “I made it!” and the new friend turns out to be a Birthday Massacre fan or my future husband or something. After that comes the food dilemma, both deciding what to burn for breakfast and packing a complicated, paranoid lunch plus snacks à cause de my fear of spending too much money on campus and/or starving on a delayed bus.

In addition to my hour and a half demon ride, I must walk to the bus stop, a gruelling pilgrimage whose maximum can reach 30 minutes if my bag is heavy enough. Once again, I lie to you. It usually takes 15-20 minutes and is quite relaxing. The only problems are that I cannot run to the bus stop, being athletically challenged (or, a nerd), and time is not always allotted for the occasional transit delay.

The bus ride can be relaxing, provided NO OTHER PEOPLE ARE ON THE BUS. It’s nice and empty around the late morning; 8 or 9 a.m., on the other hand, is pretty crowded. Nothing compared going home at 5 or 6 p.m, though, at which the trains and buses become a mass of humans all chewing gum with their mouths wide open. I also believe everyone without a baby carriage on the subway is a potential murderer, so I can be seen doing the shiftiest of shifty-eyed glances while riding. Unless I am asleep. Were I 6 feet tall and male, the disparities of society would protect me from most dangers, like that guy at Finch Station that requests a dollar from every small black woman he sees.

I must include a sentence about my crazy, trooper mother and her staying up until 11, midnight or 1 a.m., to pick us (me and part-timer sister) from the bus stop. The occasional “Why doesn’t your mom let you out?” is very annoying.

I find that students living in campus residences are quite sparse. Most of us seem to either commute or live close by, whether it’s at their own place or with their parents (caregivers, other family, friends, etc.) In my opinion, residence fees are frightening. I almost wound up in Loretto College last year, the setting of my older sister’s grand roster of roommate and floormate horror stories (No offence to Loretto, aaaaahhhh!!) and I found the fees to be through the roof. I’ve met a couple of people who’ve chosen to stay in res (rez?) for one year, just for the experience. I can only imagine the experience, the romanticism of staying out regardless of the subway closing, bravely scrounging and filling Tupperware with goods from your respective cafeteria, mastering one’s own laundry, crying for Mom and one’s Playstation at exam time… I have yet to mention the monthly purchase of the TTC Metropass, biting many and yet saving a handful from misguided escapades in the big, bad… Tomato. [/failed NYC pun]

Other students probably have better time management skills, and thusly better commuting patterns than mine. I hope so, at least. Regularity is probably the best way to make the most of one’s travel scheme. Is it possible for a student to actually spend the same amount of time getting ready each day? Is it possible to have a schedule? Is it truly? Oh, Shakespearean woes, I hope it is.

What the great tangent of thoughts before you is trying to say is… commuting, and its related issues, are an interesting experience. Yes, I do remember the first second sentence I wrote.

 

- Liesl