Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Manners and Money.

I always wear my headphones on the train. Not because I always have music on, but because it keeps people from being suspicious. I can manipulate my phone (take pictures) and just generally become someone else who is in their bubble, rather than that nut with the folding bike checking everyone out. I didn't have music on on Monday, and I got to listen in on this woman.
She has a friend named "Sophie". Sophie's husband, or lover, or what have you, is cheating on her. How do I know? Because the train is loud. Very loud. This woman had to talk over that loudness; the clack of the tracks, the sound of the wind rushing by, and just the general loudness of the car. She also has some strong feelings about "that man" and is very very supportive of Sophie and her ability to find someone else. Her conversation went on at full volume for about fifteen minutes, and while I appreciate the support she has for her friends, I am not particularly a fan of being brought in to a telephone conversation as a spectator. Good luck to you, Sophie, and I hope that you wait until after work to call your friend again. It would certainly make the rest of us on the train a little more comfortable. (Except the guy sleeping next to her, who may be the most comfortable man on Earth. He didn't move once during her conversation.)

I have been riding the train regularly for about a month now; I just buy a pass and don't have to worry about my fare. In the time I have been riding, I have had my pass checked 3 times by fare enforcement. No one riding with me has gotten a fare evasion ticket in that amount of time, so I guess that random enforcement works pretty well. I feel that the fare for the train is set at a reasonable price, with discounted fares available for seniors and kids. A regular rider pays $3.00 for a day pass, and the discounted rate is half of that. A ticket for fare evasion is roughly $100. When I got on the train, I spotted this kid, mostly because of his conspicuous consumption; Sean John jeans, Timberland backpack, Ed Hardy shirt, and very white Nike sneakers. I also quickly spotted the $1.50 he had in his hand.
I watched this kid exit the car at every stop and walk from one doorway to the other, craning his neck up and down the platform in the process. It took me a couple of stops to realize that all of this was in order to save the $1.50 he carried in his sweaty little hand. He was exiting to make sure that there were no fare enforcement officers getting on the car, and that if there were, he would be able to buy his ticket and get back on. I would suspect that he has used this method before, and that by saving $1.50 at a time, he is able to buy his expensive clothes and accessories.
Maybe I should have arranged an introduction to Sophie - her man never had any damn money to spend anyway...

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