So now you know what the Mac bus looks like, and the MAX sounds like. For my final installment in this commuting series, we’ll see if your imagination conjured the MAX ride correctly and show you how it’s done.
Here’s my short walkthrough so you’ll know what sights to expect should you decide to ride the MAX to work or school or your indentured servitud—umm, internship.
Before we begin, let me test your knowledge this bit of trivia: What does MAX stand for?
A: Not Majorly Awesome Xciting-mobile. You should probably bring your iPod or something to do. Protip: don’t bring reading material though unless you’re fine with people reading over your shoulder… this includes your smartphone screen.
Follow these steps to commute like a pro:
- Wait to board the MAX. Someone will probably come up and ask you for money, no matter how desperately you try to look like you don’t understand English. They call you sir of ma’am and make their request with superfluous politeness (“Excuse me, I’m sorry, but could you possibly…”), but the second you apologize and truthfully tell them you aren’t carrying cash, they’ll turn bitter, scoff and maybe curse at you. Not so polite after all, I guess.
- Get on and ride. Be bored. Pay just enough attention so that you don’t miss your stop. Put in your headphones for something to do, and as an added bonus hopefully reduce the likelihood of a stranger striking up an awkward conversation with you, e.g. someone twice your age making a pass at you… an inexplicably intoxicated-looking-at-7 a.m. stranger ranting at you… etc.
- Look out the window, which is good for a few reasons; Oregon is quite pretty. You’ll avoid eye-contact and some of those awkward situations I was talking about. And you can use the reflection on the glass to pull a double-reverse creeper and check out what the other riders are doing without being obvious about it. Sneaky. Watch the scenery fly by, unless it makes you motion sick. In that case, I hope you’re wearing some awesome footwear that you can spend some time admiring, because your options are limited.
- When the time comes… get off. Shove on. Voilà.
Now you’re ready to go out in the world and rub elbows (pretty literally) with the unwashed masses (also pretty literally) on public transportation. Give it a shot. Your wallet and the environment will thank you.