Sunday, 17 October 2010

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

Judge for Yourself: Compare

Toronto, Ontario

I had walked down to a store, “Theatrics Plus” to shop for props for an upcoming play. I compared the excursion to the previous day when I rode the subway for some distance (had no choice, had to meet my appointment). The difference between the two modes of travel was like day and night. My observation was that those on foot moving to their destination were more animated, more friendly. People were paired up, engaged in conversation. The previous day on the subway I felt to have stepped into a zombie culture. I rarely take this mode of transport. Surely a good 25% were wired onto the I-Pod enwrapped in their own universe. The balance of people were not different. Quiet! Sleepy! Of course, who could blame them. Work doesn’t stimulate most people. Many looked morose.

So did the TTC operators (TTC stands for Toronto Transit Commission). I asked one operator about the furthest east I could go. I felt sorry to have ‘bothered him’. With the rumbling of the subway train on its tracks I could faintly hear him, “Take RT.” Then he closed up. He was abrupt.

Now, I’m a monk who rises early and who gets up to attend what we call the arti (sounds like ARTEE). It’s a beautiful service. When the operator said “RT”, I kind of froze like everyone else on the train. Slightly culture shocked, I mustered up enough courage to ‘bother’ one of the solemn passenger for clarification, “What is meant by RT?”

“It means the rocket train. You pick it up at Kennedy Ave.” he said.


Fortunately I met a male Bangladeshi who was pleasant in conversation. Relief!

Conclusion: people on foot are happier than the stoic passengers on the move either by subway (or car). Yes, it’s as simple as that. I’m going to stick to the walking culture as much as I can and chant during the process.


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