I have a love-hate relationship with the CTA, but I’m particularly talking the Blue Line. It’s been around for many years and it’s convenient most of the time, which is awesome.
But when there are events going on downtown and there are only three train cars, I have an issue with it.
I don't know about all of you, but if I wanted to be a sardine in a can, I would have purchased one thousand sardine cans, opened them up in a tub and placed myself in it. Doesn't that sound unappealing?
Well, that's how I feel on the CTA. And that's how I'm going to feel when I get on the train and head out to the Taste of Chicago.
I've had my share of encounters where I have laughed and talked with friends (and strangers), and some times where I have honestly been extremely scared for my safety, but that's going to happen anywhere you go. If you’re out in public, that means there are going to be the crazies out there in public with you. There are always going to be the people that look you dead in the eye while they are furiously masturbating on a public train (true story). There will always be people that have something stupid to say to you about how your big your feet are, and then want a bite of your granola bar (also true story).
But for the most part, the Blue Line has been good to me. It runs twenty-four hours, which is great for my early morning or late night shenanigans. The conductors are usually pretty cool and will (usually) wait for you when they see you sprinting like a marathon runner/crazy bag lady to catch the train to get to work. The train isn't the cleanest and most of the time smells like some form of human excrement, but at the end of the day, it gets me where I need to go, which is what really matters.
Riding the CTA can get pretty boring when you don't have anyone to talk to, a book to read or your phone/iPod is dead. That scenario happens to me a lot because I'm always forgetting to grab headphones, a book to read or to charge my phone. I created these “games” to play when I used to ride from my stop by my house all the way to UIC (generally a 40 minute ride). The first game is to count how many people have all brown colored (or any color I chose that day) shoes, sounds easy enough, right? It is pretty easy, but it helps to pass the time and gets fun when your train pulls up to Clark and Lake, Washington, Jackson or UIC and thirty people walk in on to the train all at once. The second game is to count how many people have a ponytail or man bun. This game gets fun when your train pulls up to Logan Square, California, Damen, Western, Chicago, or UIC.
If I'm not playing those “games”, then I'm people watching, which is in my top ten of favorite things to do by myself, considering that Chicago has some interesting (and very, very strange) people. Observing the way people interact with others is really awesome and sometimes extremely entertaining. The more you people watch, the better you get at reading body language. My favorite is watching people, when they think is no one is watching, it's absolutely priceless! I can almost always tell the people who are tourists and the people who don’t take the CTA often.
At the end of the day, myself, including other Chicagoans complain about the CTA, but if it didn't exist, we would probably complain about how there isn't a train to get from the North West side to the West Side of Chicago.