Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Better Way

Whenever the Amalgamated Transit Union goes on strike, anyone who depends on the subway or the bus or the streetcar to get around Toronto has to scramble to make other arrangements. The smarter commuters spend the time working from home for a change, but most don’t think twice about adding their car to the chaos downtown or maybe make some small effort to form a car pool at work, but mostly they grumble—a lot; and usually along the lines of legislating the overpaid bastards back to work and usually after only a day or so of such unbearable hardship.

Back in the ’70s, people seemed a lot less anxious about getting to work. Then a transit strike tended more to bring people together in the simple adventure of getting around, when on the typically uptight streets of Toronto, you had only to stick out your thumb, and someone would give you lift.
     On the way home from school one afternoon, I met a man who’d driven downtown just for the fun of it. I sat with the others on the floor of his van, and he offered me plum from a basket of fruit he’d brought along for us.

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