Wednesday, March 12, 2008

urban adventure

I'm a bit chagrined to say that I JUST experienced the free E-Line Trolley downtown. It's a nice little circulator - hunter green with wooden slat seats - v. stylish and of an early 20th century vintage.

I find that I experience unfounded anxiety around things related to any transportation that isn't walking. It's gotten better, but for months I've been avoiding the Trolley out of some unidentifiable fear that I would end up...what...?

In Indiana?
In a Turkish prison?
In a 4th dimension where my cell phone doesn't work and the bus driver can't communicate through usual means?

No clue what my problem is, but I steeled my apparently fragile nerves and
*waited at the stop (worried that it wasn't the RIGHT stop)
*got on the bus (worried that it wasn't free and if it wasn't would I have the right change? could I get to it quickly?)
*rode the bus with much trepidation about WHERE I was supposed to get off and WHEN (or IF) I should pull the Stop Request line when the destination was in sight... keep in mind that the length of city I was crossing is one I regularly walk when it isn't an icy tundra, so even if I did get off at the wrong stop, I could easily remedy it by WALKING)
*exited the bus and felt like I CLIMBED MT. EVEREST

What's ironic is that I can do NYC subway, Chicago L, no problem.

I gotta do this more often, the city is not that big and I need to learn to ride the bus without fear of ending up in the imaginary wormhole of fear and helplessness that I conjured up for myself...


Anonymous said...

Why not try the RTA web site, the "how to-ride page" in particular? You might also want to acquire/take a look at a system map.

If you have a question when you're riding, just ask the drivers. Answering (politely asked) questions is part of their job.

And remember, familiarity breeds equanimity.

sarah said...

No see, that presumes a LOGICAL anxiety. I've done that - many times. I even have the ELine .pdf on my corkboard at work - however, last I looked, there was no update regarding the changes on Euclid (its major corridor) - so logical anxiety was usurped. Plus, I have less than a little faith in the local system, as I don't perceive it as being the anchor that public transit is in other cities, and therefore perhaps less accountable for questionable gaps in service.

But it's not about service, its about the fear I created for myself and getting over it by diving in and *doing* the scary thing.