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The Creative Issue – News for Creatives | June 20, 2021

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Public Transport: A Word to the Wise

Public Transport: A Word to the Wise

| On 10, Mar 2014

A compilation of tips and tricks in regard to making the daily start of semester commute slightly more bearable.

Alongside other train carriage small talk, the sentiments of “you can’t understand a city without using its public transportation system” are bound to surface. Let’s face it, four months of summer vacation is detrimental to the usual, rigid university routine.  As we are slowly but surely shaking off our post-summer vacation blues, many of us are also trying to somehow get back into hour-long commutes to and from campus. It’s taken me a week to embrace (read: stop criticising) my share of public transport in Brisbane and here are my Top Three Tips to you!

1. Keeping Entertained

With earphones, this is simple. You plug yourself in and catch up on those skipped lectures (already guilty) and ‘Like A Version’ broadcasts. Without earphones, the eyes wander to fellow commuters and their laptop screens whilst the ears seem to hone in on their eavesdropping techniques. Need not fret, the ‘earphones in / world out’ approach is favored by many, but I highly recommend glancing up from your iPhone to take in what is around you. Public transportation provides a perfect platform for the creative person to see a different aspect that contributes to our city, whilst still giving us permission to silently theorize about that spotted bow-tie wearing guy’s private life. Speaking from experience, allow yourself to enjoy the quiet time that a long journey offers. Think of it as our city, downscaled, confined and intimate for the entire duration of the daily commute.

2. The Window as a Philosophy School

We all know the feeling. It’s an overcast morning, 6am. We’ve scored the window seat and as the train travels through patches of drizzling rain, the universe seems to dub it perfectly okay for Bon Iver and The National to play repeatedly on shuffle.  Next Stop … Existential Reflection Central!  However, it isn’t all that bad. Routes to Brisbane have character and are bursting with Queenslander charm. You’ll observe billboards missed when driving and see contrasting countryside and bridges clad with graffiti all at once. It’s almost as if the outside world is our silent, slow motion film, preparing us for a day of work and study. Come to think of it, some of my most profound slices of artistic inspiration come from reflective city commutes.

3. Keep a gracious sense of humor

Depending on your disposition, you’ll either laugh or cringe when you get up too quickly and swiftly land right back into the lap of a smiling, middle-aged man with an open can of beer. True story, fake smile. The day will come when that all-nighter will have you falling asleep on a stranger’s shoulder and suddenly your sympathetic eyes seem to be the perfect grounds for conversation starters. Here, that sense of humour is vital..Brisbane is a city of contrasts and the variance of people using the public transport system highlight this wonderfully.

You know what, no matter what time of day, make the most of the commutes in and out of the city. There’s no sunset like a Brisbane sunset from the quiet carriage! I suppose over the summer, I did miss that drone of the engine and shuffling of mX Newspaper.  We’re all in the same boat… or rather, train, after all.