Friday, August 26, 2011

Taxi v. Subway v. Submarine

I am thirty-two years old; I was born and raised in Los Angeles; and today, I used L.A.'s public transportation for the first time.  (Don't look at me, I'm hideous). 

Why, after thirty-two years, did I decide to finally try L.A.’s public transportation system today?  Well, it all started with a sports injury…

My husband Nathan nearly broke his foot last week playing basketball.  His friend drove him to an emergency room in Pasadena.  Nathan's car stayed behind in a parking lot in downtown L.A.  We knew we had to retrieve the car eventually; but at first, we had other priorities (e.g. making sure the foot did not need to be amputated). 
We assumed that Nathan would be able to drive within a week of the injury.  This was a bad assumption.  It's been eight days, and my poor husband is still hobbling around on crutches.  Today, he did something very exciting: he successfully carried a cup of soda from the kitchen to the living room (a stunning distance of twenty feet).  Driving is not happening anytime soon.  It was time for a rescue operation.

The rescue operation needed a leader.  Someone with all the qualities you expect in a hero: courage, compassion, convictions, and charisma.  Since no one fitting that description was available, I volunteered.

I needed to get to downtown L.A. in order to pick up Nathan's poor beleaguered vehicle.  I thought: I'll drive my car.  Then I thought: no, dumb ass, how will you get your car home?  Right!  I needed an alternative form of transportation.

I had three options: (1) the Metro (a.k.a. the subway); (2) a taxi; or (3) a submarine.  I weighed my options:

$5 day pass
At least $40, possibly more if there is a traffic jam or the taxi driver is on the lam and needs a hostage
Approximately $3 billion – I would need to buy a submarine, decorate the submarine to look like Red October, bribe government officials to build a secret underwater passage, build said passage, and buy submarine outfits
Yes! It’s about a 25 minute walk from my house to a metro spot.
Somewhat.  You can’t hail a cab in Pasadena (unless you have a few years to spare), but you can call the switchboard. 
No, but very bad ass.
Can I skip the gym if I use this type of transportation?
25 minute walk to the metro?  Hell yeah, skip the gym!
No, you fat lazy slob.  You still have to go to the gym. 
p.s. I hate you.
Unknown, but who cares?  You own a submarine.   
Adventure Level: Scale of 1 to 10, 10 being Romancing the Stone/Indiana Jones and 1 being “eating a t.v. dinner while watching Wheel of Fortune.”
People watching + navigating the metro for the first time = A strong 6
Varies between a negative 5 (traffic, taxi driver is listening to a radio station in a language you do not speak) and an 8 (you become a pawn in a bank robbery).  A taxi ride is never a 10.
11,947,228 – submarines are AWESOME. 


If I had unlimited time and resources, I would have chosen the submarine. But, since I needed to pick up the car before Christmas 2018, I chose public transportation. 

And I loved it.  I sat on a comfortable if slightly itchy seat in an air-conditioned car.  I looked out the window and saw all new parts of Pasadena.  Although I would like to eventually own a submarine, for now, the L.A. Metro makes me happy.

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