Sep 18, 2009

Public Transportation

Shortly after I moved to DC, I determined that I would not be able to keep my car. First of all, there were the various costs – insurance, parking, gas, etc. Add to that my complete lack of directional sense and the multitude of “roundabouts” here in the district, and you begin to see the problem. So I left Sheldon (yes, my car’s name is Sheldon) with my parents at Castle Sri and began the Great Public Transportation Experiment of 2009.

Every morning, I walk a couple blocks to the metro station. This necessitates wearing walking shoes and carrying my dress shoes in my purse. As this is a common practice among DC’s professional women, no one bats and eye. The metro takes me to the NIH campus, where I go through security and catch a shuttle to my building. At the end of the day I reverse the trip, and so far (knock on wood) I’ve managed this without incident.

Sometimes the train cars are crowded, and I hate touching strangers. I try to position myself so I won’t bump up against anyone, but it takes a lot of effort. And very time someone in my vicinity so much as sniffles, I think ‘omg, H1N1’ and start inching away. Sometimes the trains themselves are filthy, with gum and grime all over the floors. *shudder* I’m convinced I’m not alone in my revulsion. Just as no one is an atheist in the foxhole, everyone is a germaphobe on the metro.

At the end of the day, though, I like the idea of public transportation (even if I don’t necessarily enjoy the transportation itself). Seeing thirty people in a train car means that thirty cars were left in garages, parked on the street, or at someone’s parent’s house. Some were not purchased at all. Not to go all Martha Stewart on you, but it’s a good thing.

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