Not necessarily the most fabulous nor glorious thing about living in the largest French metropolitan city, but something that- nonetheless- is inevitable. There's something oddly satisfying in the daily commute, either the bobbing mountains of heads, the endless relay of métro to bus to métro... the overwhelming whifts of human body odor, perfumes of every scent.
Mine is never dull, although most who come from large cities would disagree- I'm just not yet used to the hundreds of people trickling in and out of the public transportation; a sort of light hum and shuffle of the feet. My morning commute starts with the 2 minute walk to my bus stop.
Some people aren't so lucky.. but I take a few steps from my small Parisien studio and start off on bus 39 direction Gare de Paris. Everyone stands idly about waiting for the bus, either it's a rainy morning and we are all huddling uncomfortably under the small glass cover, or it's a sunny day and those who smoke are flicking ashes and butts into the street.
Shuffle shuffle shuffle. Beep.
On the bus. If I'm lucky I get a seat next to the window, if I'm sort of lucky I get to lean against the glass window and if I'm unlucky then I simply get a pole to grip on as the bus comes to startling halts and gos.
Step off at Duroc, head to the Métro. From this point we are all somewhat awake, but still heading towards the metro as if we are on autodrive- you know- those times that you are in your car and you are suddenly home with no recollection of how you got there?
In the metro, usually some odd smell and body heat... they are not air-conditioned in France so normally we are all pressed against the doors, hoping for the fresh air to pass through the high windows. The worst are the rush hours, people stuff into the cars impossibly fitting in until there is barely enough room to grip a bar or move.
Shuffle shuffle shuffle.
Leaving the metro with another group of individuals, mixed smells of shampoos, colognes, perfumes... we are all walking in sync heading down Boulevards, Rues..
I guess the morning commute is not Parisien, nor Lyonnais... nor New Yorkan or Portland(ish). It's simply the fact of living in another large metropolitan city.