Wednesday, April 2, 2008

The Commuter Diary - part I

Every day I commute via train into Chicago for work. I actually like my commute even if the round trip is a little more than 2 hours out of each working day.

I walk from my house to the train station, hop on the train where I can read my newspaper (or if I'm lucky, knit!) then get off in Chicago and walk a mile to my office. I have actually convinced myself this is my FREE exercise because I know if I didn't HAVE to do this walk to get to and from work I wouldn't be doing it. This brain-washing has worked so well that I don't even have the faintest idea where any of the bus stops are so rain or shine, freezing or sweltering, I'm doing my walking.

The suburban leg of the commute isn't terribly interesting, just walking through a residential neighborhood. However, the walk once I get into Chicago is always interesting. I thought occasionally I would share some of the things that I see while I'm on that part of my commute. For example, today as I was walking to the train I passed various panhandlers, many of whom are "regulars" on the route I walk but then I was surprised with something new. Something I don't think I have ever seen in my 10 years of working in the Loop: I saw a large metal grocery store cart parked against some metal fencing.

Now this may not seem odd to most people, but if you spend any time in downtown Chicago you understand that you just DON'T see errant grocery carts in the middle of the Loop! But it gets better. As I continued my brisk pace I turned my head to look at the cart (it was that weird to see it) and I noticed that it hadn't been abandoned at all - in fact, someone had used a bicycle lock to chain it to the metal fencing it was propped against!

Now that struck me as funny - the person who stole the cart from the grocery store took the time to lock up his (or her) stolen property so that someone else wouldn't steal it from them. I love it!! The irony of the whole thing made me smile the rest of the way to the train. I wonder if it will still be there tomorrow.

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