Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Blue Line, Green Line, Chicken on a Bus: Getting There is The Whole Journey

The first time I rode on a subway I was about 6 years old, with my father, and, in all places, underneath Mexico City. A most unusual entree to public transportation for a girl from Kansas City but my father, whose usual means of transport while traveling was in the back seat of a car being driven by someone other than himself, thought it important for me to be comfortable on mass transit. Perhaps knowing that my future would not be one of backseat riding, he took me on the train in every major city we visited. By high school I understood the hilarity of my father having the driver pull over and drop us at a train stop, with instructions to pick us up a bit further down the line.

In Boston, following a minor traffic accident in the Callahan tunnel at the hands of an angry taxi driver fueled by a deafening Mahler, we moved on to the T. In Puerto Vallarta we rode a bus with a chicken. He left me to navigate the DC Metro alone, a first, setting me up for years of confident transit riding in Chicago, London, Paris, Philadelphia, and yes, Kansas City. Following a knee surgery, unable to drive, I rode the KC bus to work every day for weeks, which proved to be the source of amusement for many of my coworkers, as well as a good books worth of stories.

Last night we had dinner with the more adult than child daughter of one of my oldest friends, in town for a conference. The last time I saw her she was in a diaper, bundled mightily, and rocking in a basket in my living room. I expected a bit more than that but was quite surprised when, after dinner, she pulled out her phone and mapped the best route back to her hotel, "the green line I think" (to be fair I was also surprised that she ordered her own food, didn't drool once, and stood without assistance). It seems the ability to find your way, wherever you may be, is impressive.

This afternoon my daughter Mary texted me, would it be all right to go with friends to the Anti Cruelty Society after school? They needed to visit to complete a science project, due next week, "we'll take the blue line".

Thanks Dad.

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