Life Abroad, San Francisco, Thoughts & Opinions, Travel, Writing
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Post #8: BART

Welcome to the eighth post of the Great Writing Challenge of 2012.
Five days a week for six months, I will be given a topic to write about. The stipulation: it must be 250 words (or more), and positive in tone.
If you would like to suggest topics for me to write about, please email me at TheRebeccaProject [at] gmail [dot] com.

Post #8: BART

BART trains are cool. They look like portals from the future, prepared to take you back with them. Even the horns sound digital. Harrison Ford caught one in Blade Runner. Or maybe I just made that up. But he totally would have.

Each day, I ride the futuristic cars to work and back. BART is my preferred form of public transport, and mostly an enjoyable experience. The system is known for its large, comfy seats, and has a completely different feel from the hard plastic seats on trains in New York and London.

I am a creature of habit and each day, I make a beeline for my preferred seat: the reverse-riding left hand side at the very end of the carriage. I’ll take the right hand side, should the left be occupied. Failing that, the middle of the car with my back facing the person behind me works almost as well. I would rather stand for the duration of my trip should the only seats available be the four closest to the doors. There’s no rhyme or reason for it.

If both seats at the end of the carriage are open, I’ll pick the one with the newer cushions. I like a new, firm cushion over a saggy old one any day. And I pay no attention to the multiple stories each year that remind me that scientists find unknown bacteria on BART seats every day. Have you seen what goes on in the micro world on your very own keyboard? Nevertheless, a perky cushion is key to a comfy ride.

If you get a seat on BART, you are actually sitting a lot further away from other travelers (generally speaking) than on any of the other trains I’ve ridden around the world. I appreciate people not piling on top of me, or reading my book over my shoulder.

Whilst BART suffers significantly in the lack of complexity (44 stations in the Bay Area, compared with over 200 stations in Sydney’s CityRail network), it still makes my life possible to exist without a car. It gets me where I need to be, with a minimum of fuss. I can appreciate that.

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