The Culture of Public Transportation . . .

I’ve been considering ways I’ve changed since moving to Turkey recently. I guess part of it is just being reflective, having a lot of standing and thinking time on the bus, and one of my Master’s classes is focused on culture this semester. So, I thought I’d share some of these things with you . . . perhaps someone will find them interesting.

My current observations have to do with public transportation since I have spent a substantial amount of time recently utilizing it. I must say that when I was growing up, I never envisioned myself running down the road, flagging a guy driving a short bus and desperately hoping he would wait for me. And since moving here, I’ve been surprised that this morning he did wait for me!

I also never really foresaw getting my foot shut in the door of a minibus and my shoe falling off in the process.

But what started all of these observations about my new public transportation using identity was the other day when I got onto a bus and was absolutely thrilled that I got a “good standing spot.” That is definitely something I never anticipated. I hadn’t really prepped myself for standing for an entire 45 – 60 minute trip to school, and since adjusting to that, I have now categorized all the different places in the buses by their degree of ease for the stander. This usually includes whether or not there is something to lean against, or a waist high bar to grab onto as opposed to have to reach 2 feet above your head to hold the rail. There are a couple of buses that have these select corners by the windows, and those are the absolute best, because you barely have to hold on, you can just lean into the corner.

So, I will say that there is quite a culture to public transportation, and I am not native in it for sure, but I think I’m getting there.

How do you get to work each morning?

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