Back from DrupalConLA (A postmortem)
I have been in LA again for DrupalCon. To my surprise this was not the first year of a DrupalCon Stabbing.
I lived in Long Beach for around 7 years. Every time I had some regular obligation. I did my due diligence and checked to see if I could take public transit to wherever I was going, whenever I need to go there. Be it school, or work, or church. I was never able to find a reasonable commut on public transportation. Ever time I found a 20 mile commute would lead to a 3 hour and 5 transfer bus rout. I was simply a fact that nowhere that I needed to go was a place the bus wanted to take me.
So now I live in Portland. I have been here for one week. I take the bus everyday and it always goes where I need it to. It is not as fast as driving, but my commute is under an hour and I sold my car.
Now I live in Portland and DrupalCon is in LA a week after I move. I was sure to have permission from my new job to come back for the week of DrupalCon, however, this time I didn't have a car --I didn't have a car and now I am in LA. This is a problem, so I borrowed a car so that I could get to the park and ride and take the blue line up to the staples center.
That is I took the Dark Blue Line, not to be confused with the Light Blue Line that is also called the expo line. You see the Dark Blue line runs north and south while the Light Blue line runs east and west. Both go through downtown at the LA Convention Center.
All this to say that LA has a problem with its public transit.
The first morning I took the Blue Line (forever just called the train from now on) it smelled as though a homeless guy had been sleeping in the car for a week and they never opened the doors. I looked at the windows to attempt to let in some air and I noticed that they where sealed shut; there was no way to open the windows without some tin snips.
That first day wasn't bad. The car was relatively empty and aside from the smell it went smoothly. Every other day didn't go as well. That was the last day that I was able sit in the car. All remaining trips where standing room only. Then there is an amazing thing about an LA train. It is like a bazaar at a developing country. There are people walking up and down the isles selling everything from cell phone chargers and candy bars to condoms and tecate.
Then there was a terrifying thing that happened.
I was sitting there on my last day up to LA. The train stops at an elevated platform and some skinny guy, early twenties, walks onto the train in a long black trench coat. Normally I wouldn't think anything about this. Then he positions himself at the front center of the first car with his head down. He lifts his head and begins to speak.
"Hello everyone, I need your attention. I am terribly sorry for this but I have to ..."
At this point I am positioning my self to bum rush him and ...
"... to ask you all for money." The entire train exhales and goes back to ignoring him. I nearly laughed the only kind of laugh that come from thinking your about to die.