Saturday, 24 January 2015

Why You Should Take Public Transport

Of course there are environmental reasons, and that tree is looking at you pitifully. Of course there are economic reasons, and your purse is also looking at you pitifully. But I discovered a new reason for taking public transport: entertainment reasons.

Or, the tale of the dancing centaur.

As some of you might know, the Year of the Horse is ending here in China, so I thought I'd share this story with you. I was waiting for my train one day, and across the tracks, there was another platform opposite to me. Like this:
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Like any self-respecting teenage blogger of the 21st century, I was using my phone and hence not looking at that platform. My friend, whose phone was malfunctioning, did and said to me, "Look at the dancing horse."

Like any good friend, I abandoned Tumblr and looked up. There, on the other side, was a guy waving his arms about. "What?" I asked. "Hey, are you okay? I think that's a human."

Like me, my friend was not very sane. And she persisted, "I'm pretty sure it's a horse."

Before I could ascertain the species of this dancing centaur, a train arrived and blocked my view of the platform. When it sped away, there was no one on that platform.

"Well, it's gone now," I said, going back to my phone.

My friend gave me a funny look. "Um. Ads don't take trains?"

I looked back up and spotted ... an advertisement billboard on the other platform, featuring a gold horse. "Oh," I said, laughing. "I thought you meant the human."

My friend made no comment and started trying to power her phone on.

I mean, you can't witness this sort of thing when you have a chauffeur. Not that I can afford one.

Any public transport anecdotes? Share them in the comments so we can laugh together!

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18 comments:

  1. Whoops haha slight misunderstanding. Pity there wasn't an actual centaur. :D

    I hate public transport because I have to take it all the time, BUT sometimes funny things happen on trains. For example, once around Halloween or some other holiday during which people dress up, the guy next to me asked his friend: "Have you seen my sword?" (he was dressed up as a knight or something, but I didn't see that right away because I wasn't looking at them). Or (decidedly less fun) when a guy fell asleep on my shoulder because he was dead drunk.

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    1. I would've been mildly alarmed that we were the only ones to spot a centaur, ahaha. Public transport can get on my nerves -- I have to take a bus, the train, and then another bus just to get home from school. But that sword anecdote sounds really awesome! I once did this writing exercise where I just eavesdropped on everyone's conversations and out of context, a lot of the things we hear in daily life don't make sense. Thanks for commenting!

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  2. I LOVE PUBLIC TRANSPORT. Honestly, riding the subway was one of my favorite parts of visiting NYC. Here are some of my favorite transport stories:

    -That time in San Francisco when we were in line for the cable car and a guy in a straight jacket and hand cuffs stood right next to us, casually leaning against a tree. As soon as the car left the turntable, the man jumped onto the tracks and started beating his chest like a gorilla. Everyone said what they thought could possibly be their final prayers and then the man's performance began. He counted down from ten as he rolled around the tracks. Within 10 seconds he was freed from his jacket and cuffs and holding his hat out for tips,

    "I'll take anything, anything, car keys, credit cards, keys to your friends house." Just another San Fran street performer!

    -That time the subway door closed and suddenly four guys in our car started break dancing like fo real. That is until one guy hit is head on the ceiling.

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    1. We don't really have street performers in the subway here - they're pretty strict about that. Sounds like it was an awesome performance, though! I have yet to visit a US city subway, so I'll definitely have to keep an eye out for these incidents. Thanks for sharing, these stories are hilarious!

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  3. I don't take public transportation often (unless the school bus counts!), but this was so funny! It seems like some pretty good story inspiration, too.

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    1. Thank you so much! Hmm, yes, this might be the start of urban fantasy -- especially if centaurs were like Dementors, in that Muggles can't see them. Will have to keep that in mind ;)

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  4. I was so confused at the start of this post, then I just started laughing. Oh, the things you see around public transport.

    I live in the country, so I only really do the school bus. But to get around town I use the bus sometimes. I enjoy the writing material I get out of it- idea's for stories and personalities.

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    1. I know right? Public transport can get on my nerves sometimes but then this happens. So many idea gems to be mined :D

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  5. HA. Your poor friend. ;-) Although, to be honest, I hate public transport. Soooo many people. >_< And I live in quite a small town where there isn't a huge transport system. *sigh* I'm lucky to have parents who lend me their car. x)

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    1. Argh, I know the feeling. It's normally okay for me since I get off school before the post-work rush hour really starts, but sometimes I have a meeting of 30 minutes and I get home 1 hour later. But this sort of thing is such good entertainment and/or writing inspiration!

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  6. This is funny! I don't have public transport (well, there's a bus, but I don't want to go anywhere the bus goes, and also, driving is the greatest fun and a great example of the social contracts we all deal with) (also, I hated public transport in Spain) but it's cool to see what we can see when we look up from our phones!

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    1. I keep forgetting you can drive at the age of sixteen, and that essentially everyone does drive at the age of sixteen. It's so inconvenient to drive here -- such expensive parking spaces! -- and public transport is quite convenient considering we're a tiny speck on the coast. But yes, even though the Internet is a source of continual marvel, sometimes real life is no less fascinating :)

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    2. Actually, I know some people who don't like driving, but I think the trend is a little more common among homeschooled people than those who go to public school. But I can also see how driving somewhere in a big city would be awful! Public transport, Internet. XD Yes.

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    3. Yeah, it takes ages to go anywhere. But I imagine in the USA it's too big to not drive, except in urban places. Literally everyone is on their phone in the train here.

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  7. Shoot, I was kind of crossing my fingers for an actual centaur. (That would be an A+ reason to move to China, I think. ;)) I'm one of those weird people who absolutely adores taking public transport - but only in the very early mornings and afternoons, because that's when the people there are next-to-none and I can sort of eavesdrop on the few that are there in peace - for writerly purposes, of course! (I don't do very well in large crowds, though. That's a whole 'nother story. :P)

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    1. Oops, looks like I accidentally misled quite a few people into thinking we actually have centaurs. Although that would be quite a tourist attraction! School hours enable me to avoid most of the rush hour crowding, so it's nice; although since not many people chat in public transport here, I prefer to attempt Sherlock scans. I am not very good at it. :S

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  8. I was confused for a while, and then I realised what you realised. xD

    I don't use public transport much - I prefer bicycling to and from school - but when it became necessary for me to take the bus a couple once, I realised I had no money and no bus pass. Fortunately I was travelling with a few of my friends (who had bus passes) and we were all wearing the school uniform, so I ended up getting a free bus ride home.

    I don't mind public transport, though I'm really afraid of forced interactions sometimes.

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    1. Ha, yes, that was the intended effect ;)

      Wow, that must be awesome to be able to just cycle to school. I have to cross the harbour every day for school, and HK doesn't really support cyclists. And that's awesome about the free bus ride!

      Thanks for reading and commenting, Nivedha; I love hearing from you :)

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