Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Subway Diaries.

Day One.

St, Andrew: My Subway Station.

I could ride the subway all day if I could. Only if I knew where the bad neighborhoods were, so I don't get off at those stations or overstay my transit welcome. The subway has the highest turn over of strangers that I've ever seen. More so then the bar on a busy, fall Saturday. Anyway it's easier to eavesdrop on the subway. Mostly.

People sit in clumps. Couples towards the middle of the car, singles towards the edges. They do this and there's little interaction between riders. The couple protect each other by being their companion. Singles suddenly find their hands/phones/iPods/books really interesting. What if your subway fare was to have a conversation with someone. I wonder how that would go.

The wheels make a deathly sounding screech against the track. We all hear it. A girl in skin colored shorts and a mint green t-shirt grimaces at the sounds. Or maybe she grimaces at her too tight shorts. I personally don't think they're too tight. At least she's small. I've seen worse. Don't judge. You know you have too.

A young guy gets on my car. We hit the Museum station, nobody else gets off. He sits in front of me, closes his eyes and focuses on the ear buds he looks permanently attached to. He's wearing a white G.Star Raw DNM shirt. What the hell is that? I'm still baffled by the differences I see between here and home. 

I glance right. My reflection looks back at me from the dark corridor. St. Patrick station is next. I add a tick mark to the top of my page, my way of keeping track of where I am. Nine stops between home, St. Andrew, and work, Eglinton West. 

I get off at my stop, happy that I have mastered the subway in one day. It's 4 P.M. It' time for a drink.


  1. so ride into the 'bad''ll find that they're much the same as all the others. No reason for you to be bound by other people's ideas of 'bad'. That's adventure.

    1. I plan on it!!! I am in no way bound by other people's perceptions. I just want to be prepared :)

  2. haha I like this. Welcome to Toronto and the crappy TTC (opps, did I just say that!??) I ride the street car going west daily to get to work and have used the subway over the years and it's a nightmare. Trying to get to work earlier these days to beat the crowd. I know people who have lived in other countries and swear that the TTC is the worst transit system they have ever encountered. I'm curious to see how you like it after being in TO for much long and how efficient you find it. Got verbally abused by one dude on Mon morning for NO reason. Ok, that's my rant!!

  3. Love the comments on "subway psychology". Somebody could (or probably has) done a really interesting study on the behavior of subway riders. Nothing better than a solid people watching sesh! I prefer airports only because I feel less constricted.

  4. I LOVE this line:
    "What if your subway fare was to have a conversation with someone."

  5. I've never been on an actual subway but I hear scary things. then again, it may not be as bad as some make it out to be! love your blog, by the way! found it today :)

    xo, samantha