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Monday, February 10, 2014

New year, new eyes...

This year has started off very differently from previous ones. For the first time in over 20 years I find myself without a car (it seems I have a problem distinguishing between 60, 70 and 80 km zones when I'm driving). The last time I went on a train coincided with the purchase of my first car in 1991 so it was with some trepidation that I took the first of many trains I will have to take to work over the next 12 weeks. As I've mentioned before I am very claustrophobic and the thought of peak hour trains gave me more than a few sleepless nights over the Christmas break but I must say that so far I have been pleasantly surprised.

Here's some things I've learnt already walking and taking public transport:
  • I have a bus at the end of my street that will take me everywhere I regularly go in my local area including the train station.
  • The buses go every 15 minutes.
  • There is no advertising on my local buses (and very little graffiti). It is air-conditioned and very fast.
  • Only one of the milk-bars within walking distance of my house sells bread.
  • The trains I have caught have all been on time, cool (even during the heatwave), clean and quiet.
  • The trains are nowhere near as crowded as I thought they would be unless I catch one at the height of peak hour.
  • It takes me almost half the time to get into the city compared to driving.
Not only that but I now have an extra hour to myself everyday to read, listen to podcasts and see suburbs I've lived in for many years from a totally different angle (but more about that in other posts).

I do realise that once the train is late/breaks down/ traps me in a tunnel I may change my tune but for now I'm happy to accentuate the positive.


  1. Yay for being brave- I always loved taking the train in to work. Not the 'getting up at 5am' part, or the 'having to wear earplugs so I could sleep while people blabbed incessantly the whole 1.5 hours', but the relative quiet and 'I don't need to drive and concentrate and park' bit was nice.
    The trip back was always my favourite, for the reasons you mention- time to read a book, catch up on knitting, or just listen to music.

    I do miss having a bus stop just down the road, which will take me to shops and the train station- enjoy this newfound discovery! Buses are great for getting to shopping centres on weekends, as no need to circle and fight for tiny parking spaces. :)

    I'll admit that our country trains had a terrible habit of being overcrowded right when I wanted to catch them after work (they would often reduce by a carriage or two, not helpful), and in this hot weather there are daily delays and breakdowns and speed restrictions.
    But still, overall, better than dealing with parking and driving hassles, for people like me. :)

  2. My train seems to be very quiet but I have been using the time to catch up with some of the 'Welcome To Night Vale' podcasts. Do you know about this? I think you might like it. Very weird, alternate reality, all the good stuff! Check it out

    Congratulations on your exciting news too!

  3. Sounds intriguing- am downloading the first episode now. :)
    Thank you! Alas, this probably dooms my Blog to remain very un-added-to for yet another year. ;-)

  4. I absolutely love travelling but tube or train. Time to people watch or read and not even bother about pedestrians or speed zones...Perfect.

    1. Exactly. I've forgotten how liberating it can be to be anonymous among a crowd!

  5. I like this, what a positive turn around and I'm glad for you. (Just popped in after seeing your linky thingy on Pip's post.)

    1. Thanks Rachell. Nice of you to stop by and to take the time to leave a comment. I really appreciate it.