When I found out that I would have to ride the metro into work, I was ecstatic. I had an overly romanticized view of what the ride would be like; I pictured myself holding a warm cup of coffee in one hand, with a crisp copy of The Washington Post in the other. I saw myself being therapeutically rocked by the train and allowing myself to briefly unwind before starting the daily grind. However, I was in for a rude awakening.
The first problem I discovered with the metro was the smell. Woodley Park, in my opinion, is the worst-smelling metro stop in the District. The stench from the nearby crawfish place and the McDonald’s, create a foul smell that is eerily similar to a male locker room after a gym class. On particularly humid days, the wafting smell is pungent and overwhelming, filling my nostrils as I begin my descent.
Getting on the metro itself is another unexpected struggle. Anyone who rides the red line during their morning commute knows that space is at a premium. There are mornings when I have to force my way into a metro car because I fear that the sliding doors will abruptly close with my arm dangling in them. Once I’m on, I have to stay completely still. Any sort of movement could lead to disaster. I once tried scratching the back of my head and accidently delivered a sharp elbow to a poor woman’s nose.
In spite of all this, I do love the convenience of riding the metro. In Connecticut, it is impossible to get around without a car. There is public transportation, but it’s not dependable or convenient at all. I do not enjoy driving, so the metro is a godsend for me. I’d rather endure the stench for the rest of my life rather than drive a car on busy streets and sit in traffic for hours. Besides, riding the metro is not all that bad. I may not be able to read the Post, but my neighbors’ texts provide just as much entertainment.