I’ve been using the D.C. Metro to commute for the last two weeks. While not exactly fun, it is interesting to see all the different types of people. I watched a blind person with a seeing-eye dog successfully navigate the escalators at rush hour, push her way into a jam packed subway car, and get off at the right place with her dog leading the way. It’s an incredible feat I wouldn’t have thought possible had I not seen it.
Timing on the Metro is more predictable than driving, and I don’t have to bother with parking, which is also a factor everywhere I go. I admit to being susceptible to stress while driving my car on the D.C. streets and freeways. During weekdays, roads are constantly filled to capacity and sometimes you “just can’t get there from here.” I don’t get mad or have road rage symptoms, but sometimes I just want to be able to drive faster than 15 mph and wait at every traffic signal. My pulse quickens and I get tense. On weekends I can sit for an hour or more at a time in traffic, and it’s not a big deal; I keep myself cooled down and relaxed by listening to podcasts that take my mind off of the road (TED talks, NPR, computer security classes, etc). But it’s a different story if it happens during a weekday because the roads are more crowded, and I usually have a tighter schedule, i.e. I’m supposed to be at work somewhere. It’s impractical to always plan for the worst case scenario because then I’d arrive an hour early at most of my appointments, plus there just isn’t enough time in a day to do this regularly.
And so it’s very nice to get off work, walk downstairs, get on a train, and zone out for 20 minutes. The “Orange line train to Vienna” announcement is sweet indeed after a long day.
Orange Line Train to Vienna