Friday, September 08, 2006

Commuting Experiment


Every day I pick up the train at 7:10 am. I see most of the same people every day getting on the train and getting off the train. There are a select few that form litte "clicks" and they talk amongst themselves while waiting for the train. They laugh about stupid things that their cats do and talk about weekend plans. As an outsider I feel left out and not worthy of joining their conversations. There are lots of unknowns with these groups of people. How long have they been a click? Are they all somehow related? Do they all live on the same street?

I'm considering conducting an experiment, where I somehow infiltrate these clicks and find out more about my neighbors each day. This will give me some good material for this blog I'm sure.

My strategy will be to ask the group if they "have the time" (even though it's clearly posted on an LED sign that gives updates about the train schedule). The next day I'll say good morning to them to see if they remember me. I'm sure they'll call me "Kid who asks for the time" and eventually want to know my real name.

The only danger with this experiment is that I might get sucked into the group. I often have days where I enjoy the ability to talk to nobody and sit quietly on the train. Getting into the habit of talking to people might ruin this luxury. Perhaps I'll come up with a "code word" that I say when I see the group. Maybe I'll simply smile, nod, and say "READING DAY" and keep walking.

Stay tuned.

2 Comments:

Blogger Emma C said...

I am constantly on a "reading day" on my commute to work, but really it's just an excuse for evesdropping on my neighbors. Fascinating stuff! S. and I have our favorites--there's "Our Favorite Dog Walker" and "Power Lady" and "Hot Guy." Sometimes we commute at different times and share stories. Once I saw "Our Favorite Dog Walker" in Harvard Square! Score!

7:43 PM  
Anonymous suebelle said...

Bond over disaster on the T. Lucky for you, we commuters experience "disaster" striking the T often (usually in the form of late or missing trains). I recommend you wait for disaster to strike, and observe the reactions of you fellow commuters. Those who go postal over a late train are not commuter buddies for you. Those who ponder the T tardiness are the commuters to ask for the time. (BTW, great photo!)

I have a commuter buddy. Our entire relationship is one smile as we pass one another on our walks through the Public Garden. I've seen him outside the Public Garden during our respective commutes, and once outside of the entire commuting scene entirely. He smiles to me outside of the Public Garden too, but I don't think that's cool. We can only smile as we pass each other in the Public Garden. Them's my rules.

8:28 PM  

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