Commuting alone is every teen's dream. Be it to any place or any part of the city for the first time. This excitement dawned on me when I had to go to work on the first day of my job. All set and ready with a big smile I walk towards the door to leave home and there she is standing like a body guard...my mom! It's 2016. Women have made strides in politics, in business, in tech, in culture. I can go on my own. Yet, she had to accompany me.
"How will you go alone, you don't even know the route?" she said. Mom definitely had a point and this continued for a whole week. I wondered why she did that, doesn't she trust me? Am I so careless to get lost? Then it struck me, silly girl.. you are a GIRL! And she is just concerned. Isn't it obvious for parents to act this way, but they cannot be there all the time. So I started travelling alone. I started commuting by the bus. I know what you are thinking...why a bus and not a taxi! Here are my personal pros and cons.
Visiting Kuwait after years has certainly changed many things here. I have forgotten the routes and of course it's my first time without any company. Taking a taxi, is a little crazy for me. It's only you and the driver and one can get lost or be fooled easily if taken to a wrong location. Scary, isn't it? Especially after sunset. Well, this feeling hits me hard every time I think about catching a cab. Just imagine yourself alone not knowing the background of the driver. Now I might be wrong but to overcome this feeling it is going to take a while, I guess. On the other side, taxis are fluster free. You can sit comfortably without the stink of the sweat that usually surrounds you while traveling by bus.
Crowded places sometimes make you feel safe, so does the bus. I feel a little safer, being accompanied by people though unknown because if something goes wrong, one out of 10 may help you. You pay less and reach on time. Sometimes it gets really awkward when I am the only female in the whole bus. Women are born with that fear and panic that runs through them during such situations...I feel nauseated at such times. So to escape that feeling, I call my parents or a friend and talk until I reach my destination.
This cannot be done every time so I switch over to music but am alert at the same time, so that I don't miss my stop. The cost is comparatively less and for frequent travelers buses are more reliable. One hears very rare complaints about the buses while the taxis charge you a lot and bargaining with them is another hassle when you are in a hurry.
Commuting is fun and frustrating at the same time. In this heat, especially in Kuwait which seems to be much closer to the sun during the summer, waiting for a bus is just like pre heating yourself in an oven. The whole point is that whether a bus or a taxi, you should feel safe going to work.
By Ramona Crasto