Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Two days and a wake up
Hallelujah! I'm a person again! Well at least I'm online that is.
It's been an interesting month. My mother has been sick. So, being the dutiful Mexican daughter that I am, I came to camp in my childhood room, so I can cook, clean, and drive for the folks. It's not that bad. I have my own tv, my own bathroom, and time to actually read. The kids aren't here so I get all the coco pebbles to myself, and because I have to feed the folks a low fat, high fiber, low sodium diet, I'm losing weight. The only thing I haven't had is internet.
I never realized how essential internet has become until I went without for almost a month. I was relegated to do email via my wannabe Blackberry mobile device. There was no online Tetris to clear my mind, no endless link surfing, and no online video clips. Of course I could spend some time at work checking headlines, but it's not the same as taking time to read an article and googling the facts. Even writing email wasn't the same. When on a computer my fingers are simply an extention of my thought process. I can type almost as fast as I think and speak. Using the miniature keyboard on my mobile device to send meaningful messages proved to be quite a challenge. I finally understand why kids resort to so many acronyms.
In the middle of my communication breakdown I got a new job, and now I'm going to have to commute. In my area, commuting is a way of life. I don't mind it so much. I simply accept it as a subculture that I'm a part of. There are all kinds of commuters. There are those who drive solo, they're usually talking incessantly in their Bluetooth headsets, shaking their heads and gesturing as though the person on the other end of the call can see them. Then there are the carpools. Some casual, some arranged. The person in the back seat is usually reading the paper, while the person riding shotgun figures out how many more times they can listen to the same play list the driver has plugged into his stereo. Finally, there are those who take public transit. Although I sometimes fall into the previous two categories, public transit is my mode of choice.
I have the options of a bus, a train or a boat, or a combination. Each has it's pros and cons. The buses available to me are quite nice. They are the result of a nice pork package courtesy of our local Congressional Representative. Pork has never been so nice. The coach buses have nice plush seats, and a luggage area below if you have a bike or shopping cart. And as long as you don't look through the wind shield you won't get carsick.
The bus can be taken all the way to the City or to the light rail system. Light rail in the Bay Area is called BART. BART can be very interesting. There's what I call BART theatre, which are those uncomforatable moments when people talk to themselves, fight, make out, or inexplicably recite a soliloquy. The down side to BART is that it is often crowded during commute time. But, one can still read by holding on to a pole with the crook of your arm while holding your book or magazine. This brings me to my favorite part about any public transit. I could never read while I drive. I could never sleep while I drive either. I couldn't crochet, organize my backpack, review my calendar, make a grocery list or drink alcohol. The latter option is possible when taking the ferry.
To me, the ferry is the most civilized mode of travel. There are tables to work on, a snack bar that also serves cocktails, a bicycle rack, coat hooks and nice scenery. It's relatively safe to fall asleep and it doesn't take long before the crew knows you by name. To celebrate my new job, I treated myself to a new bike helmet and thermos. I can't wait to enjoy a daily journey to and from the world. It always makes home, where ever that is at the moment feel that much more special.