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It’s that time of year people: tourist season in DC. Don’t get me wrong – I recognize the importance of tourists to the DC area economy. I get it. But summer can be hell for the lowly DC Metro rider.
I just got home. After waiting 30 minutes for an orange line train uncrowded enough for me to cram my relatively small frame into. And once on that train, I competed for my one square foot of space on the floor and my grip on the handrails with everyone else. Today was like any other day, though the experience was exacerbated by the ungodly heat outside (and inside) and the loud tourists with whom I had to share the car. Considering the station from which they boarded (Roslyn), I am guessing they were business travelers. Judging from the conversation – overheard by everyone in the car because they were so loud – some were from California, others from the Midwest. This group of six or seven, male and female, loud and wrong, pushed themselves onto the crowded car at Roslyn and loudly (and incessantly) commented on the car, the station, the length of the trip, their dinner plans, etc. “Hwah, hwah, hwah! This train is so crowded!! Cackle, cackle, cackle.” “I’m from the Midwest. We drive everywhere! We don’t care about the environment! Chortle, chortle, snort.” “Thank goodness we only have to go two stops!” Tell me about it.
Yeah, I’m totally in a sour mood today. Normally this stuff doesn’t bother me. But today…
And another thing, would it kill you guys to stand on the RIGHT SIDE of the escalator if you don’t feel like walking up? For some of us, the sights, sounds, and smells of the Foggy Bottom station are not new and interesting. We’re actually trying to get to work on time. And could you please move to the freaking CENTER OF THE CAR when you board? Please? I promise you will still be able to exit before the doors close if you do. I promise. And every once in a while could you let your 2 year old kid sit on your lap and free up the seat next to you? Maybe? And if you are riding with your Cub Scout pack or your sewing guild or whatever, you all do not have to exit by the same door. It’s a crazy concept, but every freakin’ door on the train lets you out at the same station! Really!
But WMATA is not blameless here. WMATA, listen up. Have pity on the poor schlubs like me who ride the Metro even in the off season and put up some signs that tell people to stand on the right, walk on the left. Can’t afford to put up new signs? Budgets are tight, I get it. Make an announcement every once in a while, or put in on those electronic boards that tell us how long before the next train arrives. Something. Throw us a bone! And maybe management could just accept the fact that the Metro trains are not buses and take out some of the seats or redesign the cars so that there’s one row of seats on each side of the car – like in NYC – so that more people can fit in the cars.
Parking downtown is expensive, so I have no intention of giving up on Metro and driving to work everyday – so Metro doesn’t have to worry about losing my business. So maybe that means they have no incentive to change things. But I really, really wish they would. This is not cool.
And yeah – I do appreciate the irony of having published a post a few months ago in which I giggled about how it was better to ride Metro than deal with DC traffic.
I need birthday cake. And a stiff drink.
So Metro is trying to turn me into a fat, diabetic alcoholic. Terrific. It’s working, Metro. It’s working.
I have been at home – sick – for the last three days. Nothing life-threatening – it’s just a cold – but it is seriously kicking my ass.
Remember, when you were a kid, how great it was to be at home sick? You missed a day or two of school. Your mom moved the TV into your room so you could watch your favorite shows in bed. She brought you soup and crackers on a tray. That’s what my mom did anyway. It was so awesome.
Well it totally sucks to be sick and single. I had to drive myself to the grocery store to get grapefruit juice (which I totally crave whenever I get a cold. I really like the kind that comes in the can, but they don’t sell that here in the DC area. I guess it was an Oklahoma thing. But I digress). The meds that are supposed to put me to sleep (it’s called Nyquil for heaven’s sake!) aren’t working. I can’t move my TV into my bedroom, so I have to drag myself into the living room and stretch out on the couch. And daytime TV sucks! Thank God for Discovery ID and BBC America.
So I am weaving in and out of reality: a few minutes of “Law & Order:UK” before I drift off into an agitated sleep filled with strange images, then I wake up to change the channel and watch a few minutes of “Disappeared.” Then back to lalaland, where I dream about coming back from a visit at my parents’ house without my suitcases. I’m sure that means something, but I’m too sick to figure it out.
And that’s it really: I’m too sick to be good for anything. I can’t knit, or read, or watch TV, or really sleep. I’m like a zombie. I’m not even sure if this post makes any sense!
Uh-oh. My glass is empty. Need more grapefruit juice. And it’s time for “Cold Blood.” Night-night.