Oh, the dreaded morning commute. The hour of chaos, noise before work or school. As we rush towards an empty seat, we wonder why we decided to set our alarms for such a hectic start to the day.
However, we never predicted that this moment would ever be taken away from us. It seemed normal a year ago, but once the pandemic started, we all began to realize that our one hour of commute will turn into an additional hour of sleep. We will no longer need to wake up and rush to the subway with friends. But we probably imagined to miss those moments.
While we sit in our bedrooms in the middle of quarantine, we wonder what will happen when social distancing measures fade? We fantasize about the morning coffee shop lineups, and the moment we enter our workplaces. Although we no longer commute as frequently as before, many of us continue to sit back and examine the moments that happened on the bus or the subway. Here are 7 things all commuters have learned at some point in their lives:
1. Never stand near the doors on the subway
Standing beside the doors is already dangerous and nerve-wracking as is. Despite the warning signs, the door continues to be a popular spot for commuters to lounge around. For those who have tried to snatch the spot near the door, you may know what I’m talking about; you either have to move back, or walk outside of the cart whenever people enter, and yet, your stillspot gets taken away. The door is just too crowded during rush hour, so it is best to avoid that spot.
2. Always load up your card on a weekly basis
I remember the time I forgot to load my subway card; I thought that I had enough for a one-way trip until I tapped onto the machine. Instead of a green signal with a checkmark, a red ‘X’ with the word ‘Denied’ appeared. I was frustrated since I remembered loading my card a week ago. But regardless, I learned that I need to load more than the amount required on a frequent basis. In order to avoid daily morning lineups at the card machine, everyone should aim to load as much as possible on a weekly basis in the evening.
3. Always bring earphones with you.
Earphones can be a lifesaver, especially in unsafe environments. As soon as you plug your ears with devices, no one seems to walk towards you anymore. Even when a drunk person walks by, they don’t seem to interact or notice your presence. Perhaps, earphones are just a different way of saying “Sorry, I am busy.”
4. Eat before entering the subway
Eating is messy enough, but imagine eating on the subway with all these people around you. If you spill a coffee or soup, other passengers may watch and, just a warning, you may be more than embarrassed.
5. Don’t turn on your music super loud
This statement is definitely easier said than done. Although music does transform your thoughts into an alternate reality, the people sitting beside you may not think the same way. No one wants to be grouchy in the mornings, so it’s better to watch the volume and jam some songs quietly.
6. There are still some nice people out there.
The large cities may feel cold and lonely sometimes, but someone is always willing to be there and cheer others up. I’ve made friends while commuting and I still talk to some nowadays. After all, you don’t know who you’ll meet and what common interests you’ll share.
7. You notice that the city is more beautiful than expected.
Winter mornings can be dark and cold, but as soon as you exit the subway, you see multicolored lights shining all across the streets. The picturesque view is something you perhaps may have never seen before. As the lights continue to shine when the day brightens up, you wish you can relive that moment, forever.
The subway is a place filled with distant events and memories. Every morning and evening , different people stop by to travel to work, meet with friends, and grab a coffee. However, we never realize how significant such moments are after they are taken away from us. Indeed, we may enjoy the additional hour of rest, but we’ll always wonder when we’ll safely be exploring the city on our morning communte again.