Tag Archives: commute

A Plethora Of Ebook Options

Yesterday, I had a little mini panic attack when I realized I had no more books lined up on my library ebook app (Libby). All the ones I wanted to read next were on holds. And a quick search did not show me any available ones that I wanted to read! WHAT TO DO!

What to read on the bus?!

And then it dawned on me that if I just clicked out of the Libby app and looked at my home screen, my problem would go away. Because besides Libby, I currently have plenty of immediately-available-because-I-own-them ebooks on my:

  • Kindle app
  • Nook app
  • Kobo Book app
  • Google Books app
  • BookFusion app

And if I somehow made it through all of those, my friend sent me a few books via Google docs I could also read via the app on my phone. 

Moral of the story, as long as I have a phone charger on me, I need never fear running out of reading material.

(And thankfully a hold came in early on my Libby app so I was only without reading material on there for, like, 4 hours. Whew. Crisis averted.)


Chatty Strangers

It has been a while since I’ve had a weird city bus experience, so I suppose I was due for one. And boy, did I get it today! 

I sent this message to a few friends summarizing the first experience of the day:

Me: No one ever asks me out
Homeless guy on the bus: How old are you? You single? You looking for a good man? Can I have your number? Do you like coffee? You this hard on everyone? You are so beautiful. How old are you? High school? College? You can have my number. The law, eh? Good thing….the law. Criminal law? Mmmm. You take this bus often? 

It made me laugh but I started feeling uncomfortable after a while so I turned to the girl next to me and complimented her skirt. 

I then spent the next 15 minutes listening to the girl’s life story. And what a story! I learned about her transfer between Madison and Marquette (and back to Madison.) About her dream job as an architect in New York City which should have been amazing and wasn’t. About how she started meditating because she felt so unhappy and realized her true passion was natural medicine. About how Queen Anne’s Lace is a natural birth control and “mother nature’s way of telling us to have fewer children.” And about her upcoming psychics exam. 

Needless to say, my new suitor quickly fell into the background. 

But my day was just beginning. Perhaps I looked extra-approachable today. (I have the opposite of an RBF.) Perhaps I responded with a little more enthusiasm than normal because I drank a pot of coffee this morning. All I know is, normally I have maybe 2-3 conversations per day outside of class participation. And today I had closer to 12. Everyone was talking to me! I learned more about my classmates today than I have all semester! 

And then as I left the law school today, a random stranger made eye contact and shouted, “Hey, boo!” Which, I stress, does not happen to me.

It was a weird day. 


Talk Radio (AKA I Am Becoming My Dad)

As a kid, I hated talk radio. Loathed it. I could not imagine anything worse than listening to to angry old men shout at their producers for hours on end. Silence ranked above it. I could not understand why my Dad listened. 

I understand now. You can only listen to the same 12 songs on K-Love so often before you do something desperate. 

The mini-van I drive every day lacks a working CD player so that leaves the radio. And as noted above, I can only take so much of the same music. My phone isn’t smart enough to play podcasts (what my friend calls “Millennial Talk Radio.”)

So, talk radio it is. And honestly, it isn’t so bad. I feel like it gets me thinking. I also enjoy the novelty of listening to something different but well-crafted and articulated each morning/evening. It wakes up my brain and engages me in topics ranging from local road conditions to women’s soccer to national politics. 

Talk radio always seemed to be something conservatives in Wisconsin politics relied on, but I never quite understood. I think I get it now, though. We’re a state of commuters. 

And you can only listen to the same songs so often before the guy on AM radio sounds like a better idea.

I guess my main point is…I think I am sorry, Dad, for all those years of thinking you were crazy? Also, help, I’m turning into my Dad. 


Commute

In theory, living with my parents comes with several perks. I get to see my family every day, not worry about paying rent, eat cooked meals. What’s not to love? 

My daily commute, that is what.

Since my drive falls during rush hour, I am on the road anywhere from 3 to 4 hours on any given day getting to and from work. 

It was much worse before I got glasses. I’d squint into the darkening sky and feel tired and cranky. Then I got glasses and everything got better. (No, seriously, lack of eye strain is the BEST. #Iloveglasses)

The other perk of my job is that my boss doesn’t have me come when he is on vacation. And as he is mostly retired, he goes on vacation a lot. I have yet to go more than 3 days driving in at a time. 

Anyway, I’m apartment hunting and plotting my return to Madison. Until then, I’m grateful for:

  • glasses
  • vehicles that run
  • family 
  • an awesome job 
  • retired bosses

 

 


My Commute

While taking pictures of the political signs, I realized I could snap a few of my general commute! Enjoy 🙂 


Construction

If I had a life motto, I think it would be “There is more than one way to skin a cat.” 

The saying feels particularly applicable here in Thailand. Mainly, I mutter it to myself while walking to school when I discover at some point in the night they tore up the road again. 

I live about a 35 minute walk away from my school. The trip includes a ride across the river on a water ferry. (Price: 3.5 bahts, or less than 2 pennies.) It took me a few days to find the best route but I’m now fairly confident in my ability to get from Point A to Point B.

Or at least I am when an actual road exists. Either Thailand really likes repaving (admittedly terrible) roads, or it is construction season, or I just happen to have found the exact stretch designated for redevelopment. Maybe all three. But my route to school changes almost every day because someone took a backhoe and tore up the side walk. 

This may seem like a minor inconvenience, and in a way it is. Sometimes I dash across the traffic heavy street and just walk on the opposite side. Sometimes I hustle past the construction zone and hope nothing drops on my head. Most often, however, the construction completely blocks the road I planned to turn on and suddenly I find myself stranded. 

When I find my route blocked, I either retrace my steps, follow a random stranger who looks equally put out, or blindly start walking and hope I’ll find my way again. It makes for an adventure.“There is more than one way to skin a cat.” Incredibly, I’ve yet to ever get seriously lost. But I’ve also never seen construction like this. It isn’t orderly. It is shouting and dust and maybe one machine with mostly men and women doing manual labor. Things get torn up and left torn up. Then, just when I’m about to give up…wallah! The sidewalk reappears. 

At least, sometimes it does. 


Adventures on the City Bus

I climbed onto my bus today and found myself confronted by a dozen 4 year olds. Apparently, their daycare decided to take them on a field trip and use public transportation to do it. They were pretty cute and I figured I was one of the few commuters who wouldn’t mind too much sharing the bus with them. I sat down across from a young gentleman and smiled at him.

He scowled at me.

I scowled back and then turned it into a smile, just to show I was playing. 

He bared his teeth. 

I stuck my tongue out.

He went back to scowling ferociously.

I noticed he was strategically placed between two daycare workers, so I assumed he was a troublemaker and went back to smiling. 

People climbing on the bus usually went through a series of similar emotions when they saw the other passengers. Surprise, confusion, panic. One guy swore. 

With all the youngsters, the bus filled up rapidly. As much as I enjoyed making faces at my neighbor, I spotted another bus that would get me to campus and decided to switch over so give the others more space.

This was an unwise move. The bus smelled like bleach. And not just like, ‘huh, you smell something weird?’ kind of bleach. An all-consuming-I’m-losing-brain-cells kind of smell. I was happy to get off.

Then, after classes, I got on my third bus of the day. This one also smelled like bleach. However, whereas the first one looked clean inside but smelled, this one smelled like bleach and also looked like someone confused it with a garbage truck. The floor was littered with rotting bananas, candy wrappers, and old newspapers. I’ve never seen a city bus so filthy. 

Just another day using public transportation.