This post is about a journey; a journey that I have embarked on every single (week) day twice a day since last October. The starting point and the destination are immaterial. The reason behind the journey is of little importance.
There are only two things that matter to me about this journey:-
1. The distance
I was traveling 108 mile every single day. 108 miles is probably not that much. In fact, had it been 107 or 109 miles I probably would not be blogging this, however a wikipedia search has made me very uneasy about this particular number. 108 is the atomic number of Hassium. I don’t know what Hassium is or does, but it makes me feel uneasy especially when wikipedia also tells you that there are 108 sins in Tibetian Buddhism.
Superstition aside, 108 miles translates to 173.809152 kilometers (thank you google calculator), multiply by this by the number of times I made this journey and it works out to about 13,608 miles.
Considering the earths circumference is 24,899 miles, I have, over the course of six months accumulated enough mileage to place me half way around the world. Alternatively, I could have climbed Taipei 101; the worldâ€™s tallest building over 43,000 times.
On average each journey would last 4 hours. This figure when viewed in relation to the number of hours in a day seems negligible, yet when multiplied by the total number of journeys made I have spent 504 hours of my life commuting; 21 whole days, to be exact.
My face is etched with 21 days worth of frown lines. Frown lines gained as a result of the disapproving looks that I have shot at that one person on the train who decides to place their itsy-bitsy bag of shopping on the only remaining empty seat. That same person, who has mastered the art of avoiding eye-contact with the other 55 commuters who are forced to stand, should pay for my botox bill!
It is not just the distance and time spent on the journey but the time I have been unable to spend on other thingsbecause of this journey that pushed me to say enough is enough,
I have sacrificed time that I could have spent sleeping, blogging, catching up with friends and familyâ€¦..
That said, it wasnâ€™t all bad; I had some great traveling companions. I managed to attend a â€˜Rail Userâ€™s Group Meetingâ€™ and watched as angry commuters told rail executives just what they thought of their service.
I also got to read some very good books; Perfume (recommended by Mshairi), The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists (because my father always seemed to be reading/quoting this book), Catcher in The Rye, Fahrenheit 451, Nineteen Eighty-Four, Animal Farm, the list goes on.
I did also read at least one bad book, Dan Brown’s Deception Point â€“ and I really feel like asking him for my time back on this one!
The best part of all this is that I have finally reclaimed my time and my freedom. I shall not say never to the notion of commuting in the future, however I will think twice should I ever be faced with the same choice. Needless to say I now have the utmost respect to all those people who commute. Should I happen to be on a train or bus I will offer my seat to a commuter; unless of course I am a commuter too. I have after all perfected my eye-contact avoiding technique.