Spending almost four hours a day getting to and from work sounds like a real time suck. But when you have to do it, that’s where part of your life is happening. So you have to make it work for you. My buddies and I have joked that riding the train, and especially the bar car, becomes a bit like the show “Cheers.” The only difference is that almost nobody knows your name. There are plenty of faces and characters you see every day, though, and you notice when things change.
My father was a commuter while I was growing up in the 70s and 80s, and from what I saw, in the old days you talked, played cards, read, did word and number puzzles, drank, laughed, and slept to pass the time. All that still happens, but now you can also listen to music and watch TV shows, movies, and videos. The only thing I wish I could do during those three-plus hours per day is practice guitar–I’d be much better by now.