Friday, January 26, 2007

Mellie on the MTA

So yesterday Big Blue (my car) was in the shop, and I was forced to rely on public transportation to get me to work. It was my first time using my new Charlie Card, and I had to use it on both the T and the bus. I was a little bit unsure of what I was doing, so I tried to keep an eye out for how the people ahead of me were tapping their cards to the card readers. It is very difficult being non-chalant when you really have no idea when it comes to the new system of public transportation. I ended up doing just fine, after one false start on the number 1 bus. (Thank goodness for my friend AB, who let me know that the light turning yellow was a good thing, not an indication that my card had somehow forgotten that I put $10 on it yesterday. The "yellow light is bad" applies only on the Mass Pike with my EZ Pass. Of course, I could have asked the bus driver for help, but that would have been admitting weakness.)

The last thing I wanted to look like was an unsophisticated tourist, which is kind of ridiculous when you come to think about it. But there really is something about riding the T that gives me the impression that the people riding it are indoctrinated urbanites. They know the system and use it. On the other hand, I try to avoid it as much as possible, especially the B train on the Green line, the train that runs right outside my apartment, with its cars filled with students packed in like sardines.

Even though I have lived in Boston for the last ten years, I am still attached at the seat to my car. My understanding of the city comes from one way streets and Big Dig detours. On the other hand, people who ride the T understand the city as a complex system of trains and tunnels running underground. Both have their good points and both have their bad.

If it wasn't so cold, it might be worth it just to walk.

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