Obey the rules of the road or else…
It has been 8 months now since I have been taking the York Regional Transit #77. Although, the YRT service is nothing great to write home about, I have to say this giant beast of metallic junk is the only means of connecting me to my source of income. I will not bore you to a temporary comatose, but I’ve had my fair share of drama including been pushed around, snarled at (yes, snarled), my stuff picked up and thrown on me and having drivers heartlessly drive away while I helplessly watch from across the street waiting for the pedestrian crossing.
Although 8 months of daily commuting hardly earns me any street cred points, I have made some curious observations and tricks to dealing with the joyness that is taking the bus.
1) It can be safetly assumed that in Toronto and the GTA, no one has the desire to sit next to you or talk to you or anyone else on a mode of public transit. There are a wide array of activities that the average Torontonian would rather do than sit beside you, much less speak to you. Some examples of these activities include plugging their ears into their iPods, picking their nose, testing every single one of their cellphone ringtones, and staring aimlessly outside the window. Some exceptions to this rule are if you’re exceptionally good looking, or if they’re a Jehovah’s Witness.
2) In the unfortunate event that you are sitting next to someone who has bad breath, is crazy or a nasty combination of both, you may do any of the above listed activities of the unfriendly Torontonian commuter. If you’re not into that you may use some common phrases that are useful such as: “No, I don’t want to tell you where I live. Would you like a mint instead?” or “No, I’m not interested in reading the Book of Mormon. Would you like a mint instead?”. My personal favorite is to just pretend you’re dead.
3) In the event of a rare treat that a hot guy gets on the bus, please close your mouth and try to be discreet with the stare. Remember that creepy old geezer with bad breath who tried to ask you where you live and then tried to convert you to a Jehovah’s Witness and wouldn’t take dead for an answer? You’re not him, but oogling is the first step towards it.
4) Please offer your seat to an eldery man or woman. I understand that many people are jaded, ‘hurt-before-by-bus-politics’ commuters but good manners always go a long way. So does good karma.
5) The best way to have two seats to yourself (one for you and one for your purse/ego) is to sit on the aisle seat with your purse/ego dropped on the window seat. This is a concept that thrives on the fake politeness/ pushover-ness(I know that’s not a word) of Torontonians. Most people would rather stand than ask you to move your shit so they can have a seat. Every so often though, you will have the non-pushover commuter who will sit on YOU if he can’t find an empty seat. True story.
6) Don’t have lengthy coversations with the driver about spending your weekend buying clothes for your dog. This will cause him to miss stops and piss the toffees off of a bus load of cranky people. True story again.
7) If you got delayed at Starbucks because the lunatic in front of you decided to pay for her coffee in pennies, it’s not a good idea to run like a cat on hot bricks with scalding coffee to catch your bus. This will cause your clothes to consume more coffee than you do, you will reek of coffee and you will look like an idiot. Accept defeat with dignity and an intact coffee cup.
8) It is perfectly okay to smile and make small talk with your everyday fellow commuters. In fact, make an effort to do so. However, one can draw the line when the over-friendly bus idiot moves your stuff around and cockblocks you from the bus cutie.
9) Find things that will make your long morning commutes enjoyable. Personally, I like to read, listen to music, talk to God, do the crossword and twidle my thumbs. In really hectic times, if you really can’t find anything to keep you occupied, stare at a picture of Jake Gyllenhal.
10) Try to thank your driver after you have arrived at your destination. Unless you’ve been in a terrible accident, in which case, thank God you’re not in the hospital busy being a vegetable.
And that folks is my 2 cents on the public transit. You may pay an additional $2.98 to experience it for yourself.