Off the rails….

There are two classes of commuter transit in this town, the bus/skytrain set (skytrain being our elevated light rapid transit system) and the Westcoast Express set (a true commuter rail line using actual train tracks) which services them rich folks out thatta way. The Westcoast Express services those that live on the North side of the Fraser and Skytrain takes folks from Downtown Vancouver into parts of Burnaby (which borders Vancouver) through New Westminster and on across to the ‘South Side’ of the river. That’s my ride.

I’ve mentioned it before, but seriously, Skytrain is full of some funky ass people. The Westcoast express, you need to show a transit pass or have a ticket to get on the platform, Skytrain there are platform people that stand there and watch things, and you get the odd transit cop every now and then but rarely are there ticket checks. See our transit system runs on the honour system. Yeah, how dumb are we?

Of course they count on the bajillions of us Canadians that are super nice and honest and don’t think about how us super nice and honest people who, yanno, PAY don’t want to ride along with the slobbo junkies and creepy people who use it to move from one place to another without paying to carry on doing whatever junkies and creepy people do but in a new locale. The cops I mentioned? Yeah they are a recent addition. They used to have ‘security’ but now these are armed Transit Cops. There are no cops on the West Coast Express. What does that tell you.

Now ok, the Greater Vancouver area isn’t exactly that scary or anything (there ARE parts of towns I wouldn’t enter on a bet even in daylight but every urban center has those) but I don’t like to travel on Skytrain after it gets dark, even after it gets past rush hour because those junkies and crazy people come out in force then.

Sometimes during the day though, we get crazy commuters. Sometimes they are just bitchy and push and shove their way on, sometimes they yell something along the lines of: “OK, everyone move forward there are other people trying to get on the train” Even better when the person who’s standing in front of them starts yelling back, like today. I mean full on screaming match between a couple of women, their friends joining in. I don’t have any idea what these people looked like they were behind me and I was sitting down, keeping my eyes firmly on my book. I find it’s safest to do that. These yelling matches don’t have a gender boundary, both sexes feel it’s just A-OK to be an obnoxious ass.

Once not long ago I made the mistake of looking up while one was in progress. I have a very expressive face and it’s very hard for me to hide my feelings (which is why I keep my head down normally) and the minute we made eye contact I ended up being the target of their tirade. Yanno how it goes, them asking what I’m looking at, and how they saw my eye roll. “OH yeah there it goes again. What you think you’re better than me..” blah blah. Of course, being the way I am I’m not going to back down, nor stoop to their level. I just lifted my chin and kept staring at them trying to force a bland expression, only for them to eventually trail off muttering to themselves. Yeah, oooh I’m so intimidated. Pssshhh.

Another one of my commuter pet peeves are the people on the train that think that everyone wants to hear their conversations, either to the person sat next to them or even better a one sided cell phone conversation at 100 decibels with one finger pressed to their ear because they can’t hear the person over the train noise. Ok duh the person on the phone can hear YOU, you don’t need to YELL, get THEM to yell at you, I can’t hear THEM.

Of course now the weather is hot, we’ve got people with obnoxious toxic body odor polluting my environment. Yes, I realize some people have heavy manual labour type jobs who sweat but the ones that stink the worst aren’t always those dudes, it’s Joe cubicle down there with the huge creeping pit stain. It’s called deodorant people USE IT.

Don’t you just love the public transit system?

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