Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Old News

After growing up in Indiana (essentially a cornfield with cows and, also, Gary), living in the city is a big change. No grass is probably the worst part, closely followed by the odd ways my apartment smells based on the foods other people cook.[1] But the best part—unequivocally—is the subway.

I have a thing for public transportation.

Of course, I miss the freedom of driving—blasting the music, rolling the windows down, taking speed bumps far too quickly, and so on—but I am happy to leave behind the gas prices, handicapped drivers, and the hassle of finding a parking space on Calvin’s miniscule campus.

But the best part? I now have hours of forced reading/studying/people-watching time.

Some of my best studying gets done on the subway. Today I covered 30 verbs in the past and present-continuous (-ing) forms on my way to Bible study. On the way back, I stared at people (surreptitiously, of course) and decided that people are at their most beautiful on the subway.

Maybe it’s because everything is so stark white and silver, metallic and plastic that humans stick out from such sterility merely by breathing and blinking and being alive—by being anything but clinical.

Or maybe I just love subways so much that I wax nostalgic. Either way, I also have some great epiphanies while confined to that narrow tube. Today’s?

I—me, Elaine Schnabel, the girl who would only wear dresses in first grade and never left my mom’s side when she came on field trips and is still scared to go into our basement by myself—I am in Korea.

Yeah, yeah, I know. Old news, but it still surprises me. Maybe it always will.

[1] And because I can’t put my smelly cleats in the garage. The temporary solution is the purgatory space between the window screen and the glass panel that actually separates my room from the chilly Yeongdo winds. Yeongdo rains are problematic, however.

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