I come from the land of Zero Public Transportation. No trains, no subways, and the bus stops running at 6. I come from the land of Zero Public Transportation to the land of “That’s the Only Way You Get Around.”
It’s taken some time, but I’m finally getting use to navigating Chicago’s public transit. I’ve used the Blue Line, Red Line, the bus, the Green Line…there’s a lot of lines and it’s finally getting familiar.
The first day my dad was in Chicago, we were taking the Blue Line back into the city – we were in Hyde Park. Between the two of us, we were carrying everything I owned. We climbed up the stairs to the platform with my 4 suitcases, 3 bags, and 1 duffle bag full of shoes. When we finally got to the top we saw that everyone was on the other platform. We were on the wrong side. Grudgingly, we stammered down the stairs and yanked everything up the other side. After about two minutes, we saw the train we wanted: the Blue Line headed North to the city. Except one thing, it was pulling up to the other platform; the platform we had just abandoned.
“Are you kidding me?” I said.
So, once again, we stammered down the stairs just so we could yank everything up the stairs, hoping that the next train wasn’t too far behind.
We stood there with my 8 bags for an hour.
An hour went by and finally, by the grace of God, the last train of the night pulled up.
Fast forwarding to a couple of nights ago, I was on the Red Line with a couple of friends, coming back from the Navy Pier. We saw the fireworks off the shore of Lake Michigan. When we got on, there was a man sitting in the very back by himself. It was only a few second after I had gotten on that he started banging his fists against the wall.
“FUCK!”, he screamed. “FUCK, FUCK, FUCK!” He was banging his fists harder. He stood up and moved, until he was standing right behind me.
“You know, I hate women. They come on this train and get all scared of me, just because I want to sit down. FUCK THEM! I HATE THEM! FUCKING BITCHES!” The entire car was silent.
This went on for a few more minutes. When it was time for me to get off, I felt a sharp pain in my shin. I looked down and saw his foot. He kicked me.
“Sorry, that was an accident”, he said.
“Sure it was”, I mumbled.
I half ran-half scrambled on to the platform.
“For the record, I love women”, said one of the orientation guides.