Stuff that I think about. Mostly books.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

New Year's Resolutions, the TTC, and Why My Feet Hurt

My only real New Year's resolution was to complain less. While my complaining is sometimes just -, for example, deserves nothing if not my ire - I complain way too much about things that don't really matter. One subject on which I was particularly resolved not to whine is the subway. The TTC combines two of my most hated phenomenons: a method of transportation I have no control over, and other people. Many were the mornings I would rail against the lady who leaned her entire body against a communal pole as though unaware that other people might choose to hold onto it rather than faceplant into a hostile stranger's crotch, or the college kid whose enormous backpack took up the space that ought to have been occupied by at least two tiny Asian women. But no more! The subway might not be perfect, I reasoned, but it at least gets me where I need to go, and usually more or less on time. Complaining about it would only waste my negative energy, which I need to save in case I ever meet Peter Singer.

The TTC, apparently, took this as a challenge.

Owing to the always nebulous "signal problems," the Yonge-University-Spadina line was shut down between Bloor and Osgoode. When I got into the Yonge & Bloor subway and saw the kind of crowd that I thought was usually reserved for the Pope, I decided I could wait a half hour and hightailed it out of there for a slice of vegan pizza. Half an hour and a crispy crust later, I tried my luck again, only to find that the Northbound platform had become something of a mosh pit. Even the buskers looked slightly fearful for their lives.

Fortuitously, today was the first day all year that I'd worn my enormous boots.

As you can see, those things are nothing if not f'real.

So I walked.

Now, I suppose I should be mad that, despite a 9% fare increase, the TTC still cannot be relied upon to create a public transit system that will actually get me anywhere. And yes, on my long ramble I found many things worth complaining about. For instance, Torontonian business owners have apparently not grasped the incredibly high-tech procedure of dumping some salt on their sidewalks, resulting in what would be called a winter Slip 'n' Slide if Slip 'n' Slides were dirty and dangerous and...ok, it basically was a Slip 'n' Slide. And although my boots are basically foot-shaped tanks, my coat was $30 at Urban Planet and offers about as much protection from the cold as a pair of crossed fingers.

But really, it wasn't that bad. The babushka I improvised out of my scarf kept the snow off my face, and I was warmed by Lady Gaga's ambiguously gendered loins via my iPod. I got to see a lot of Yonge Street, which is actually quite pretty once you get north of the Brass Rail, and while my monthly Metropass is not inexpensive, it's definitely cheaper than a Metropass combined with a gym membership.

I was born in Toronto and I therefore have a right, if not a duty, to complain a damn lot about everything in this city, and twice as much about everything outside of it. But my resolution stands. My feet hurt and I think I have pneumonia, but I still say that any day ending with a fizzy bath bomb and a glass of red wine can't be all bad.

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