I had the pleasure to use The Better Way, as Toronto’s mass transit system calls itself, a few times lately to commute. Advice: if one keeps one’s senses turned strictly inward, it’s not so bad.

But if you turn on your senses, beware:

  • your skin will tell you how close you are to a cattlecar or station filled with rush hour travelers, how you are part of the mass in “mass transit”
  • your nose will want to go numb with the odorific movement of thickly recycled air
  • your eyes will fill you with propaganda: ordinary advertisements (“street people need your credit card”, “psychic expo this weekend”), unsold space filled with TTC self-promotion (“you riders are so gosh darned intelligent for not driving”, “drivers are idiots for spending so much money”, seriously), free mini-newspapers filled with lefty articles (“gun bust in Scarborough”, “mothers should breastfeed more”, “wipe out racism with Black History Week”, “brave students march on the Bastille”)
  • your ears will be mellowed by the constant murmur
  • your throat will pass sickness into your system if you inhale or ingest the aerosol cloud of everpresent caugh droplets
  • your brain will notice how, unless your trip is very fortunately routed, time passes so much slower

It still beats walking and suicide biking, I guess.