Up & About: The Urban Jungle
This article belongs to Up and About column.
If you did manage the entire waking up and getting ready for work process (if you still have doubts on the process, please check out the last week post for this column), you will set off to work in a vehicle of your personal choice. You can choose the bus or subway, you can walk to work or, for the most courageous, you can drive you own car and build up the anger with which to hate your boss through the day.
The urban jungle will be ready to receive you in all its might. If you are taking the subway or the bus, make sure to grab a paper (you can read a book if you are trying to transpire your intellectualism around, but make sure it is a neutral book, nothing like "The Satanic Verses" or "Mein Kampf." A Scott Fitzgerald choice will mark you as an avid, but cool intellectual, albeit with a small inclination for alcohol consumption and, if you are one of those humans with more than two hands, you can serve the first of many coffees of the day as well.
The procedure you need to successfully apply in the metro or the bus is the 'grab and hold' procedure. There are a few rules to abide by. First of all, NEVER grab and hold of anything that might look human, anything organic even. This may prove dangerous for your own security. You can hold onto anything that looks like a bar (iron and perpendicular preferably) or anything that seems to be hanging (again, check out rule number one: NOTHING ORGANIC). Second, the grab and hold procedure applied best means that you completely encircle the holding device: this will ensure your best stability during the trip (the drivers do seem to make it a personal challenge to brake at the last minute).
If you are a reader on the bus, you can find a chair to sit in. Certainly, if you are in the 20- to 40-year old category, this seems as an almost unattainable objective: there is always someone older, sicker, perhaps with an operation, more tired, less lucky, more challenged than you who is entitled to that seat. No use stirring up arguments, you can use one of your other hands to hold the book as well.
Getting off the bus or subway is something you should plan probably about five to seven stations before you actually have to get off. As you evaluate your chances to reach the next stop, you'll have to gradually start moving from your location on the bus to the middle doors. Expressions such as "excuse me," "oh, so sorry" and "oops, was that your foot?" are useful and may help you to better endure the annoyed expressions you will awaken. At last, you are off the bus and on to work (if it's the other way around, return to the beginning of the article).
Next week: our experiences driving to work.