Sunday, September 14, 2014

Commute

One of the biggest changes between living with Grandma and Grandpa in Vallejo versus living with friends in San Francisco is the commute to and from school and work (on campus). The main reason being I am no longer traveling exclusively within San Francisco. Now I get the added fun of traveling through water!

This isn't my first experience with a longer commute. My commute has gradually increased over the past three semesters along with the increase in distance from campus.

Fall 2013: 15-30 minutes on the 28 or 28L from the Sunset.
Students getting ready to sardine themselves onto the 28.
(image via https://www.flickr.com)

Spring 2014: 30-45 minutes on the 29 from the Richmond.
Ugh.
(image via http://www.chaffeeyiu.com/)

Fall 2014: 85-130 minutes on the Ferry and M line MUNI from Vallejo.
Freaking majestic as eff.
(image via http://www.mvdirona.com/)
Probably 20 minutes late.
(image via http://www.subchat.com/)
Oh, MUNI. You unpredictable little turd.

This post is going to focus on the morning commute. Why? Because as a human whose entire being cannot stand to be late and miss out on something important for class or work, arrival time is a very important aspect of my life.

Such variation in travel time means an increased chance of being late to class or work. That is not an option. To ensure that I am not late to either, I give myself enough cushion time in case MUNI decides to take a big poop on my morning. This means I am usually anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes early to campus.

How early is that exactly? A better question would be, what time do I need to be on campus?
Monday: 10am
Tuesday: 9am
Thursday: 9am
Friday: 9am

The early commute also means that I wake up earlier than I ever have had to in my whole life (at least for Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday). Wake-up alarm: 5am. Time I actually get my booty out of bed: 5:25am... usually.
It takes a while...
(image via my phone, unfortunately)

This gives me enough time to get ready, eat breakfast (or at the very least, prepare it to eat on the ferry), and get on the ferry for the 6:30 departure. I like to get there at least ten minutes early to get a good seat. This especially comes in handy on days when my phone or Kindle battery is running low. The window seats have electrical outlets! Wow! Technology!

The ferry arrives at the San Francisco Ferry Building at 7:30. Then comes the fun part: waiting for MUNI. Oh, MUNI. We have had our ups and downs. Not gonna lie, they've mostly been downs. Why can't you just be reliable? I just want someone I can depend on. I didn't even know dependability even existed before I experienced the wonder of the ferry. Always picks me up on time. Always gets me to my destination in a timely manner. I can actually schedule my travel plans down to the minute! If there was ever a time to prove yourself, MUNI, this would be it.

With a 30 minute planned cushion of time, I was 10 minutes late to my first day of work this semester. After riding the exactly 60 minute ferry ride, I walked down into the depths of the Embarcadero MUNI station and waited 35 minutes for the M to come. Me and a large, angry, tired crowd of M liners. Now I have a 60 minute cushion in case that ever happens again.

After all of this I do have to say, I do not really mind the commute at all. I've always considered myself a morning person. As long as I'm not asked to strain my brain too much, I enjoy watching the sun rise and those early birds getting those worms. I'm also someone that enjoys reading and listening to music and podcasts.
Making Spotify playlists is one of my favorite hobbies.
(image via http://en.wikipedia.org/)
I'm always loling and looking like a crazy person on public transportation when listening to this.
(image via http://callchelseap.castmate.fm/)
Crazy book. Crazy good. I read it in 4 days. During the work/school week! That's a big deal.
(image via http://www.tonpetitlook.com/)
These are things I can do during the commute! By the time I get to campus (all hour and a half - approximately - later), I'm usually pretty awake and ready to work, talk, write, listen, and function as a normal human being.

The variety of modes of transportation also means a wider variety of types of people I get to people-watch rather than just the to-and-from SF State crowd. For a person that gets great joy from making up stories, and even conversations, of strangers on the street, this is great news. The college-age crowd was getting redundant, anyway.