I started depending on public transport after securing my first job post-High School; whether it was because of my excitement about earning my first pay-check or discovering a new area, commuting from Hadath to Hamra every day was rarely a dreadful experience.
In fact, if I dare say, it was fun and amusing sometimes.
So is this going to be an overly optimistic article that doesn’t contribute to any real transportation issue? Yes! But for those wild children out there, it might just set you on new adventures.
There is no arguing that our transportation system continues to fail in serving the public on so many levels, but there are few perks that deem it, somehow, “bearable”:
1. The V4 Express:
Van 4 is notoriously known to have the craziest drivers, but in times of need, you can count on them to disrupt the time and space continuum and get you to your destination 15 minutes early.For God only knows how they’re capable of navigating that vehicle through the narrowest alleys in the region and finding secret shortcuts along the way.
2. Gold mine of inspiration:
For all the people out there suffering from a creative block, take a wild ride and commute with strangers, you are bound to meet new people, too foreign to your regular entourage, and discover some crafty ideas that might provide you with enough material to draw from and create your new masterpiece. Believe me, I’ve seen it all; a 6 feet tall man with a 15 cm Arguileh, a Taxi entirely furnished with sheep fur and another one upholstered with mirrors…
3. Spilling Tea
By now, we’re all familiar with the Lebanese Taxi driver’s background story: he was a very successful businessman abroad, went bankrupt due to obscure complications and eventually came back to Lebanon to employ his many degrees and years of business acumen in driving. What many don’t know however is that Taxi drivers are the best listeners and will take your secrets with them to the grave; so go ahead, share that juicy gossip you’ve been dying to tell, expose your darkest secrets or just spill all the trash about your ex because chances are, by the end of the day, your stories will become part of the Taxi driver’s mysterious past anyway.
In the end, there is still so much work ahead of us to fix the standards of our public transportation system, road safety being a prior concern since a lot of people dismiss public transport altogether due to the many risks it proposes. Nevertheless, things are slowly getting better with bright governmental projects on the way (such as The Greater Beirut Public Transport Project*). Meanwhile, between juggling a 9 to 5 job, side projects and meetings to save the world, it’s okay to enjoy the ride.