So I started my design internship on Monday. A lot of people have been wondering how it’s been going. It is too early to say, I think. There are lots to learn and to familiarize myself with, that’s for sure.
The weather has been murder here in Toronto, which makes being in the concrete jungle of downtown absolutely stifling. The studio I’m working at is snugly between the rancid Chinatown, and the bustling fashion district. Every morning, I join the ranks of the rest of the workforce, packing ourselves in the subway, careful not to make eye contact, and line up for the streetcar, praying that it will not stall, detour, or breakdown.
Before I started interning, and after I knew I was going to at this particular location, I was on my way to print something at the Kinko’s downtown around nine in the morning and had to get off at a popular transfer station. The lineups for the streetcar wounded around pillars, with no end in sight. My first thought was, glad I’m not one of them. Well.
A bit of background about myself, I have a fear of crowds. I guess no one LIKES standing on a crowded bus, but it affects me a bit more. I’m always afraid of running out of air and fainting. I would rather risk being late than stepping aboard an overcrowded bus. What happens when you have no choice but to make something you hate doing an everyday routine? My choice is to somehow make it bearable, and to my surprise, it came naturally. Even in the dead of summer when being still brings on buckets of sweat in an air-conditioned vehicle, people do not forget their common courtesy. Sure, there are those who still believe in rushing on board before people have a chance to step off, and it annoys me to no end. But I have seen many more scenes of human kindness than unkindness. During rush hour, people still give up their seats. We line up orderly, and no one tries to cut in. On my first day, a man walked a stranger to the front of the bus so he could help her carry her stroller of the streetcar. This morning, a young girl (maybe 18) leaned on two older women, looking very sick. One of the women asked a person on the bench if she could let this girl sit instead. This was immediately met with public concern, and not only did the person give up her seat, other people took notice and a TTC staff came to aid with water. In the stressful hours of the busy morning while people are hurrying to their destinations, many still had time for sympathy and lending a helpful hand. That, I can get used to.