1. The train's departure time is like God, no discriminator of persons.
It does not care how action-movie-like your car's slide into a parking spot was, or how fast you ran in three inch heels whilst whipping a 10-pound wheel bag behind you to the train platform, or how hard you bang on the cruel closing of the doors in your face. It will leave you in its on time departure dust.
2. It is acceptable to finish putting on your face in front of complete strangers.
Making the trek from Hamilton to Toronto forces you to leave your home to catch the train at an ungodly hour, so you're lucky enough to remember to put your underwear and deodorant on at pre-dawn hours, let alone finishing a proper make-up job. While my new position no longer has me in front of the camera these days, I refuse to give into the crazed over-worked producer look. I still like to look put together even if in the process I have a handful of bleary-eyed train travelers looking on with a bizarre mix of curiosity and disdain. Hey! At least I'm not applying mascara at the stop-light in my car. I like to think of those 15 minutes applying makeup as my very own unedited Extreme Makeover show, with the audience sitting in for the before and after look.
3. Your seat is not assigned and you are free to move about the train.
Especially when you find yourself seated in the vicinity of a morning-person with a voice that makes nails on a chalkboard sound like Pavarotti. My personal favorite is the seat change that comes with sitting across from the socially inept, loud cell phone talker who, wait for it, doesn't mind if the entire world overhears all the gritty details of their relationship woes. Those are the moments when you change coaches completely guilt free, for you have just saved yourself from a potential Primetime What Would You Do? moment.
4. Do not judge the open-mouthed, snoring, drooling train sleeper.
Because sooner or later, that WILL be you. Granted, I've fought the urge to doze off because I don't want to be one of them, but just three weeks into my daily commute, I know my time is coming. And when that time comes, look upon me with sympathy I beg of you.
5. Although air-conditioned, the train is not immune to funky smells.
The most pervasive of them all is the unsettling odor of hundreds of frantic folks running to catch the train in the heat and humidity of summer in Toronto. Lucky for you they make it just in the nick of time and plop down on all sides of you still huffing and emitting their funky fumes. It doesn't get better until a few train stops in. Just carry a scarf dipped in perfume to cover your face to get you through the commute. It'll be less conspicuous than your irritated face and scrunched up nose.
I'm sure the lessons will continue as time and experience allow.
To be continued and feel free to leave your own 'things you should know' for us newbies or those considering the GO train commute.
Courtesy GO Transit