It’s nearly Christmas and most of my colleagues are clearing leaves. Some of them are flying overseas to celebrate Christmas while others will return after the New Year. Perhaps the very reason you can find buses, trains, malls, parks, tourist attractions enjoyable and of course breathable.
I was running late today and barely managed to slide through the closing glass doors of the train to catch the 8:00 am train to work. Elated to beat the urban metro subway system with my swift movement, I was also lucky to find an empty reserved seat. Reserved seating is meant for those in need such as pregnant women, parents carrying infants, handicapped or senior citizens. Since I did not see anyone in my cabin, I took the seat.
I placed my gym bag on the floor, my purse on the lap, took out my hand phone and began reciting my daily prayers. I savor this routine to thank the almighty for yet another day. But today was special, I had a seat. The cool breeze of the aircon and warmth of the purse made my eyelids turn heavier by the minute. I finally surrendered to this coziness and decided to take a few minutes nap.
Although aware of my responsibility to offer my seat to those in greater need, I was guilty of wishing for an undisturbed nap. In a few minutes the train halted at the next stop. I was surrounded by adults, healthy adults. Pleased for my wish was granted, I let my head fall on the glass panel beside the reserved seat and closed my eyes.
It was quiet today, very quiet and even the noise of announcements at each station appeared feeble. My stop was another 30 mins away. It was both a relief and cause of worry. I could rest for 30 minutes and wake up energized or fall into deep sleep, miss my stop and loop back to the starting point an hour later. I needed an alarm or wake up call or exit strategy.
I didn’t want to open my eyes to set the alarm and neither did I like the approach to request a passenger to wake me up. I had to find another brilliant idea that addresses both my concerns. First to sleep for 30 minutes and second to not miss my stop. Keeping track of stations was not easy, but major junctions was not difficult either. Just before my stop the train would halt at one of the major junctions. It is here that I must wake up. It is here that 90% of the passengers get off.
The chill, yes! I will experience a chill when people get off. The signal would be hard to miss. I chuckled at the thought as I continued to enjoy the pleasure of the reserved seat.
If you had memorable experiences while commuting, do share.