As a terrible driver, I’ve spent a lot of time commuting. Be it on planes, trains, or busses, I’ve mastered the art of spending a few hours contained in a hurtling metal tube.
Here are some tips to help you cope. For a novice commuter, this will be your bible. For my fellow experts, this is yet another resource in your arsenal. For those in the middle, pick a side. You think this is a game!?
1. Do not attempt to flirt with anybody on a bus. It is considered bad manners to try to hit on somebody when they have no escape in a giant metal tube hurtling through the streets.
2. Do not try and write anything other than short bullet points. For example, I just wrote “car sick” to remind myself how I got carsick writing this long, winding sentence.
3. Do: bring snacks! A water bottle, a small bag of chips, and a hearty but easy food (think a really good turkey sandwich) and a banana is more than enough, and, in the event you’re on a time travel bus, you can better use it to barter with the past-persons.
4. Do: Daydream a lot. How would you handle time traveling to 1986, exactly? Would you attempt to convince them you were a time traveller? How? It’s not like they’re going to believe you. Maybe you could predict something though. Hmm. Would the government kidnap you then? Or could you strike a deal?
Be thorough. No half measures. Ooh – how would you break bad?
5. Do: Tweet. This may be a controversial idea, but my point is this. If you’re on a narcissistic website about spouting off nonsense for attention, why shouldn’t you use it in case of a boring emergency? Why bother with a personal brand? Be you. And that you is sometimes bored on a bus.
6. Do Not: Count on napping. Calculating a nap is a dangerous game, as is going on the bus with the plan or worse, the need– to nap. What if it’s bumpy? Or there’s a loud child? Demanding on a nap is an act of hubris to the gods of sleep. Do not tempt them.
7. Do: Try and nap, even if you’re not tired. Try is the key word – it’s always worth a shot. Conk your head back when you’re ready and see where it takes you. If it’s nowhere, that’s fine. You’re not nap-thirsty. If so, cool. You’re ready to accept the nap with devil-may-care ease.
8. Do: Watch a previously downloaded movie you planned ahead on. If you’re a hero, leave the captions on. That way a few neck-stretchers get a bonus distraction. Yay! You’re helping!
9. Do Not: Try and use the spotty-at-best internet. Even if it works, you’re going to be carsick.
10. Do: Keep a positive attitude. You’re already on a long bus. There’s no need to make this any worse than it has to be.
11. Do Not: Obsesses about the things you have to do when the bus stops, either as relating to your timing or the thing you’re bussing to. Bus time exists in a void. Seek the peace of mediation, or at least the calmed acceptance of the damned. Don’t let stress molecules attach themselves to you.
12. Do: Text your mom. Why not? She’d be so happy.
13. Do Not: look at anything on your phone that might be qualified as “not safe for work.” Busses are work. And the work of being on a bus is a sacred one.
Plus, the kid behind you can totally see through the seats.
14. Do: Listen to a mellow playlist. That will lull you along well.
15. Do Not: Listen to a pump-up playlist about the place/thing you are bussing to. Don’t get psyched prematurely, dog. There’s only a limited amount of psyche-points you get per day.
16. Do: Try your best to remember that time is an illusion, a trick of the mind, a flickering shadow on the panes of glass through which we see our world on long rides. On the off-chance you reach complete enlightenment and knowledge of time itself, the ride will probably be less boring.
17. Do Not: Try to start a sing-along, apparently. Sheesh.