Magazine article Alternatives Journal

Transfer Please. (Brain Mulch)

Magazine article Alternatives Journal

Transfer Please. (Brain Mulch)

Article excerpt

When I was 21, I went with a friend to a tattoo parlour in the west-end of Ottawa. We took OC Transpo Route 85 past the Bayshore mall and walked for a while to a place that had been recommended to us.

While my friend picked out the sword to go on his shoulder, I gave the skin-artist a picture of a deciduous tree in full summer foliage, which I asked to have imprinted firmly somewhere seldom seen by the general public.

My rationale at the time was that I wanted to have a constant reminder in my life of my idealistic environmental convictions that were prevalent at 21, a marking to carry with me until the end of my days which would act as a conscience as well as a moniker.

Some basic environmental behaviour included not buying a car.

It was easy to become a maven of transit systems, including route 12 (Blackburn Road) in Melbourne, Australia, Mississauga Transit route 26, and the number 12 (Erb Street) graciously provided by Grand River Transit in Waterloo. Self-righteously I traveled to work, school or play in a low carbon-emission manner.

In Melbourne I realized that public transit was also a place where valuable and meaningful interaction could take place with others. In large urban centres, it's common for a variety of classes, races and ages to use public transit. This acts like a broadband spectrum-mixing classroom for people to learn a little about each other by interacting on an equal level as public transit commuters.

During the extended commuting periods of my life, I would see the same people getting on and off the bus each morning. …

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