Phew, I made it!

I finally did it, got to work on the trains and bus! A small accomplishment, and none at all to those who’ve been doing this for years, but to those of us who are accustomed to coming and going as we please in our own cars, I feel pretty good about not ending up in the wrong city, or being late to work.

I left the house early enough to catch the 6:05 train, instead of the 6:20 the online route planner suggested. Just as well because I did get off the light rail at the wrong stop initially. When the PA system announced the next station I asked the woman next to me if it meant the transit hub where I needed to change trains. She said ‘yes.’ She was standing at the time, the train was crowded. I think she just wanted my seat which she slid into as soon as I got up to disembark. That’s ok, I caught the next train fifteen minutes later which still got me where I needed to be to make the connection I needed. Take that, bee-yatch. Now, since I arrived at work at 7:40, I’m hoping to bug out of here early enough to beat the 5:00 rush. It’s amazing how much interest my little adventure is generating among my co-workers and even my managers, which confirms what I’ve suspected, that people are afraid to try mass transit because it’s unfamiliar and they don’t know how to navigate it. We are creatures of habit and comfort, and deviating from our routines does not suit most people. I was able to get some reading done on the trains, fun! Beats staring at traffic for 50 minutes, unable to do anything else. It did take a total of 1 hour and 45 minutes, roughly double the time it takes to drive but it will save me almost $800 a year in gas. I just gave myself a raise.

So, my card for the day is The Star!

Merryday Star

The colors are richer in person, and the actual lines are much sharper and clearer, even a hi-res scan did not capture it well.

Sub-titled “Self Awareness”, The Star is typically interpreted as hope, inspiration, a shining beacon to light the path. New ideas, confidence, healing. Ruled by Aquarius the Water-Bearer (an air sign), it indicates a mental shift from one of worry and turmoil (seen in The Tower, which precedes it in the Tarot) to one of calm and reason. I’ve come through some troubles and now am more at peace. Ahhhh :::sigh::: Feels good.

22 thoughts on “Phew, I made it!

    1. Your welcome, your not a weenie but human. It is almost like taking your first step or doing something for the first time. It take a lot of effort and feels good when accomplish…that goes for experience too in which one have not done for a long time.


  1. I will say they could have it marked better where to catch connections. When I got to the transit hub, I had to ask someone where to find my connecting train. In the dark and rain, it wasn’t obvious where it was on the other side of the station.


  2. After the first week you’ll be able to do it practically by Braille. Your car is going to last forever this way, and the good thing is, if once in a while you need to drive in order to lug in something cumbersome, you can – you are still so far ahead of the game. Once you get off the train, how far is it to your office?


  3. It’s about a mile and a half from the train to the building, but the town funds free bus service within the city limits, the buses are waiting right at the station, and run onto the company campus, with several stops at the various buildings. Now if only we could get the company to subsidize the monthly passes! I will drive once in awhile, it’s not good for the car to sit too long. The only thing I’m going to miss is singing loudly in the car while I drive! 🙂


    1. Don’t let that stop you – just be another crazy person on the bus/train and sing away! Guaranteed you’ll get a seat to yourself 😉

      I haven’t driven in 10 years (not by choice). Our transit isn’t as nicely organized as yours sounds though, with funding and buses waiting at the station etc. Here, you’ll freeze to death waiting for your bus that’s running an hour late in -40 weather and then it – and the next 3 – will drive by you without stopping because they’re full of school kids! Ergo, if it’s 1/2 hour or less, I walk.


    2. I commuted by subway and ferry for a long time, mostly using my car on weekends. The car lasted 12 years that way and I will say, of all the means of transportation I’ve used over the years, the Staten Island Ferry was by far the most reliable. It also afforded a gorgeous view in the nice weather.


      1. LOL I guess that would get me a seat, maybe even a train car to myself 🙂 This could be good! YOU are a hardy soul, walking and waiting for buses in that kind of weather! I am in awe, truly.

        MJ, the car is already over 20 years old, it’s an ’89, but I need to milk a few more years out of it. I’m hoping this will help.


  4. Welcome fellow commuter! i cheat and drive to the train station, but nothing beats a nap and reading the paper (or just daydreaming) en route. Over the years i’ve made a bunch of friends — we named ourselves the “coal miners” since we leave/return home in the dark. Is it a coincidence we’re all female? I think not — but we’ve shared many “firsts” (babies/break-ups/widowhood/bad bosses). And every once in a while we make plans to meet up at the diner — no pressure, but it’s always nice to see a friendly face.

    I also believe that it is darn near impossible to get yourself lost commuting — I’ve taken the wrong train myself on occasion, but if you can read — you can take mass transit. I’m always so flattered when folks ask me questions about the trains or “which way is 5th Ave? ” I must look like I know what I’m doing or where I’m going…. fake it ’til you make it! 🙂


    1. My proudest moment was when we went to Paris and other tourists starting asking Fang & me for directions. Of course, that may well have been b/c we were the only one they heard speaking English…


  5. Hi Rosie!

    Thanks for the encouragement, this is going to be a tough transition for me. I need to figure out how to streamline my morning routine so I don’t have to get up quite so early. So many of my co-workers take the buses and trains I was easily able to find my way to the right bus at the end of the line to get to the campus this morning by following someone I recognized (but don’t know). Now I feel 100% more confident. I have to say it will be nicer when the days are longer and it’s not so dark coming and going.

    Thanks to all of you for the encouragement. The car is like my ‘One Ring’, I don’t want to give it up! 🙂 But I am sick of that long drive, and it really was very pleasant to sit and read on the train.


    1. As you get used to mass transit, you might discover express lines or shortcuts. Could you relax in the evening with a nice bath or shower, so that in the morning all you have to do is mist your hair w/a spritzer bottle and blow dry/scrunch it around? Make your coffee/tea in a commuter mug and start breakfast in transit, or keep some cereal or something at the office so you can have breakfast when you get there? Stuff like that could buy you maybe 20-30 extra minutes of sleep in the a.m.

      [Just promise you don’t do like those tacky girls from the outer boroughs of NYC, who carry backpack-sized cosmetic bags and do their makeovers on the train 😉 ]


      1. There’s no ‘express’ lines as such, it’s not that sophisticated or ingrained out here, most people still drive themselves. I bring a thermos of coffee with me to work (which I’ve been doing for a long time, I can neither afford nor stomach the stuff they sell in the cafeteria here, except in a dire caffeine emergency) and nearly always get b’fast at work (it’s almost cheaper than making it at home and I’ve discovered the joy of grits! our chef is from TN). The hair and makeup is the big time suck, but I refuse to leave the house without being entirely put together, there’s no way I’d attempt mascara on the train anyway! LOL The hair is a problem because once I sleep on it I look like the Bride of Frankenstein. Spritzing helps some, but…

        Black ice all over the roads this morning, I discovered my running shoes do not have good traction on ice. Didn’t go down, but slipped a couple of times. Might have to bust out the hiking boots. Glad I wasn’t driving on it! 😉

        Overall though, I am liking the train thing so far. It is vastly more relaxing to sit on the trains than to drive, even backroads like I take. And I’m making some headway in A Game of Thrones, about 300 pages in now!


  6. p.s. – somehow part but not all of the link copied. I was refer to these things called “Get-A-Grip Everyday Ice & Snow Traction Slip-on Spikes” – you stretch them over the soles of your shoes, and they grip the pavement w/little spikes. Genius.


  7. Yeah! I’m so glad you went for it.

    Love the amount of money you will be saving. 🙂 Plus, think of all the car-related stresses you will no longer have to deal with. I think the benefits way outdo any negatives.

    I do hope that woman didn’t purposely lie just to get a seat. Though nothing would surprise me.

    I do recall once, riding the bus home at night, there was a woman beside me who barely spoke any English or German. I have no idea where she was from. She was obviously nervous, and I was trying to help her. Trying to explain that I was going to the same station she was, and she could just stick by me. This was dreadfully difficult to explain since she could only understand one word out of a hundred, it seemed. But I kept trying.

    And then, she suddenly said, “Here?”
    me: “Yes. Uh…no! Wait!”

    But the poor woman had already jumped off the bus about seven stops too soon. Another bus would be coming in just ten minutes, but she probably wouldn’t know that. And I just felt for her all alone with that terrible language barrier.

    So look on the bright side, DD. Even if you do get a bit lost, at least you are able to ask for help.


  8. Oh my gosh, that poor lady. I would be too much of a coward to move to a country where I couldn’t speak the language at all, although for me almost anywhere would be less of a struggle than it was for that woman since there’s almost always someone who speaks English, no matter where you go.

    Portland as a whole is pretty easy to navigate, you really can’t get too lost 😉 The worst that could happen is I’d fall asleep on the MAX and end up out in Gresham on the east side of Portland! LOL Thursday morning as I was waiting for the WES (Westside Express) train a young woman came up and started asking me and another woman how to get somewhere. She had gotten on the wrong bus, but I think we got her where she needed to go. I wasn’t much help, but the other lady seemed to know the routes pretty well.


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