Monday, July 4, 2011

OC Eating

Living at the mercy of Ottawa's transportation system usually means that you don't have much time to dedicate to some of the day's little tasks. I've seen countless OC Transpo passengers working on laptops and iPads, emailing on Blackberry devices, reading textbooks, making and reviewing notes, napping, changing outfits, and applying makeup. These people aren't simply trying to pass the time, they are trying to squeeze every productive minute of their days, time that would otherwise be spent staring at school ads and Ontario PSAs.

From personal experience, I know that when you're running around in the morning to beat the bus to your stop, the last thing you have time for is breakfast. If you are lucky, you will grab some food on the way out the door — something you can hold onto by the literal skin of your teeth as you fix your jacket, lock the door, and dash to the nearest bus stop. This leads to one of the most difficult of productive Tasks: eating while commuting.

What exactly do people eat when they commute? You name it, it's been done. Some talented people have managed to eat containers of spaghetti, salad, and yogurt, spilling nary a spoonful. Then there are other not-so talented individuals that struggle with the sudden and constant braking of a city bus. I recently walked onto the O-Train to discover that someone had tried to eat Pogos (corn dogs on a stick), but failed miserably, leaving behind bits of hot dog, batter, and sticks all over the floor and seats. Somehow the mess didn't dissuade someone from casually taking a seat right beside the remnants of what must have been an epic fight with lunch.

This looks more like an epic fight with breakfast

There are many variables to consider before having a meal à la OC Transpo. Will there be enough time to eat before disembarking? Could you eat if a passenger sits or stands beside you? Would they mind? Is the food loud, messy, and or strongly odorous? I truly believe that one's commuting experience is shaped by his or her co-commuters as much as it is the system itself. You can make or break Jane Doe's day just as easily as she can make or break yours.

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