Lately, on weekday mornings, I have been waking up at about 5:45, give or take 10 minutes. My alarm is set for 6:00. This has been going on for a few months now and it’s a bit disconcerting. It doesn’t matter when I go to bed; my internal clock somehow still beats the electric one. With such an early wake-up time, I have been able to arrive at work at around 7:20, which means I can leave at 4, which is great. Well, it would be great if there was a bus to catch at 4:10. But the first bus is scheduled for 4:27 and more often arrives after 4:30.
Anyway, I really wanted to write an article on this great concept I came up with while riding the train to Rotterdam this morning: iPod zombies. But I realize now that I am a bit late to the concept. Andrew Sullivan wrote this piece for the Sunday Times back in February. You see, I’m an iPod zombie. I enjoy “the journey” perhaps a bit more than the average person, but my commute to work just drains my spirit. I need the music to get through it. Every day, I bike 10 minutes to the train station > wait +/- 5 minutes for the train > 30 minute train journey from Leiden to Rotterdam > run to metro > wait +/- 5 minutes for the metro > ride metro for 1 minute > change metros (i.e. run and wait) > run for the bus > wait +/- 10 minutes for the bus. I listen to music from the start of the train ride up until I reach my desk, and it helps keep me sane through the drudgery. So far I only use the iPod for the mental health benefits during my commute; on any other journey I rather enjoy taking in the scenery and the ambience created by my fellow travelers. So far, in the past year, I have had two zombie-related “accidents”. One day I mistakenly got on the wrong train after work, when I did not hear the announcement that the signboard for the train I was boarding was incorrect. Once I missed my metro stop in the morning because I was not paying attention – I guess I could blame this partly on the engrossing book I was also reading at the time (probably a Bill Bryson).
Something great happened to me as I got off the train in Leiden this evening, when I was not in zombie-mode. I accidentally left my hat on my seat, and one of the dudes who had been laughing it up with his chums during the whole commute came after me to give it back. That was nice. But the great part is that he called me “miss”, and not “ma’am”.