After moving to a city I quickly realized that people aren’t really people in the city. No one really cares or notices one another, and they seem annoyed when they have to. Other people seem to be viewed as obstacles, objects and annoyances. But that is only the surface. A few small events have proven to me that city people are still people, and damn good people.
My first realization of this fact involves my bike. I have a hell of a time lugging this guy on the train to get up to Glenside. It ain’t fun and I frequently hit things and have a hard time opening doors and getting around. At first no one seemed to notice me and my huge bike, but that didn’t last long. After a few short days experience a good amount of help from my fellow commuters. People would get up and open doors for me, they would fend off hoards of people trying to enter the train so I could get off the train.
They were actual people, not blobs, obstacles or annoyances. But empathetic people aware of their surroundings.
My second sign was the brief but excited conversations I’ve had with some talkative commuters. Sometimes it was just chatting about the weather, but a lot of times it’s been more. I’ve actually got to know people a bit. After my short time riding the train I don’t want to stop, I like the people on the trains they are nice and friendly people.
Finally the third and final thing that has restored my faith in city folk as people, good people. I left my wallet on the train. I freaked out and thought I would have to cancel my debit cards, get a new ID and more. But then I went back over my night and knew the last time I had my wallet was on the train. A friend told me I should check with SEPTA and see if they found it. I thought, “what the heck, why not give it a try.”
Not only had they found it but they were frantically trying to contact me. The conductor that found my wallet brought it into the lost and found and got the workers there found out my home phone number and call it, and they sent a letter to me letting me know my wallet was found. The people at the information desk said that the conductor knew who I was and wanted to make sure I got it back. They referred to me as one of his friends.
I’ve never talked to any of the SEPTA people before, but apparently my smiles and thank yous have gotten me far. I’m glad all this happened, it restored my faith in city folk, and let me know I’m in good hands on the SEPTA regional rails.