Traveling by public transport is not my favourite activity. Once you’re on the train or tram, it is indeed relaxed, letting yourself be transported from A to B. Lovely, while reading a book or the news, maybe enjoying a cup of coffee (if I had time to go get one). But before I get that far, the necessary stress has already built up and I therefore feel quite overwhelmed before I even started. Am I the only one who already gets worried at home about whether or not the tram/bus is leaving júst before I reach the stop?
My partner, Bart, is very good at traveling by public transport. He doesn’t worry much about anything. I really want to feel that way! If it is 12 minutes from our front door to the train platform, he will leave 12 minutes before the train leaves. That sometimes results in missing the train, but I don’t think it bothers him much. I, however, am happy with my car and don’t like to go to an appointment by using public transport.
The other day, I took an unplanned trainjourney, on a route that was new to me. Lovely, I must say, not to have to pay attention to the road. I therefore had the opportunity to share my troubles with a friend via WhatsApp. I had had a minor car crash. Through no fault of my own, but that was of no use to me at the time. But as I was distracted, I missed my transfer (I didn’t know that the Duivendrecht-stop comes so soon after the Amstel-stop). I found myself at the wrong stop. There, I ran to the metro to get back to Duivendrecht as quickly as possible. But the fastest route must at least go past the check-out gate from the train and check-in at the metro. I knew that part. What I didn’t know is that at this stop you can only check out on the metro-platform, not at the next platform, two storeys down where I wanted to get my connecting ride. On my next unplanned public transport journey, I need to remember to put deodorant in my bag… Lot’s of running to do.
Today I have to take the tram. I walk out of my neighbourhood and from then on, I can see if a tram is coming around the corner in the distance and if I should run. I can’t see yet if it’s mine, because I need number 7 and the 3 is also passes here. But to be able to see it, I do have to walk in the road, between the traffic and the parked cars. I can’t see it very well from the sidewalk.
Just before I get to the tram stop, I look back. A tram is coming… let it be the 7! It is indeed, well planned today! Although… I left home on time, because of course I take into account that I may have to wait fifteen minutes for the next tram. So, this now means I’m fifteen minutes early for my appointment.
Funny that, when I said goodbye at my previous job, my colleagues said I always seem so calm and how nice that must be, to be so calm. ‘Seem’ is the right word. I rarely experience this calmness myself. Well, I’m glad I come across that way anyway…
I can put away my stress about public transport, for now. I am getting on the tram because I have an appointment with the garage, where I will pick up my fully repaired car. A nice relief, which is only partly spoiled when I get presented the bill. For the time being, I no longer have to worry about whether the tram is on time and whether I have enough deodorant with me. I can now start worrying about when the insurer of the responsible party will pay.