Did you ever hear the one about the guy from Toronto who would complain about the tedious 15-minute commute to work he would have to put up with on a daily basis?
Me neither …
When I was in college, every weekday morning I was faced with a 40-minute drive to school.
The routine was somewhat monotonous.
Wake at 7 a.m., grab some fruit and a coffee for the road and hop in my ’82 VW Scirrocco.
Some days, when I was “jonesing” for my city transit fix, the journey to higher learning would take even longer.
Then there was the trip home.
Day in and day out, Monday through Friday, that was my situation and although I reflect on it now and think of the countless hours that were wasted driving back and forth, at the time, it never really fazed me.
That was my reality and the situation for so many fellow Victorians.
In fact, across the country every day, thousands of Canadians deal with lengthy commutes, whether it is driving to work, to school, to hockey practice, to dance lessons and so on and so on.
Then you have Yukoners.
How many times have you been told by a friend that they’re just going to stay in because they don’t want to deal with having to drive all the way from Riverdale to Porter Creek for a dinner party?
For the record, Porter Creek is not “out-of-town”, nor is Crestview, Copper Ridge or even Spruce Hill.
I have gone from Riverdale to Porter Creek numerous times and it only takes about 25 minutes … by bike!
Imagine a Yukoner at a dinner party in Toronto.
After a few martinis and hors d’oeuvre, the conversation turns to tales of lengthy commutes.
Trent, a CEO for Microsoft, shares the story of his daily two-hour drive each morning along the 401.
Gloria, a professor at the University of Toronto, then quips in about her one-hour drive to the subway station where she then has to board the train for another 45 minutes, before eventually arriving on campus.
Not to be outdone, “Yukon Joe” then explains his traffic woes.
“Sometimes in the morning I get stuck in the crawl of parents dropping their kids off at FH Collins … it’s brutal and sometimes it can last up to six minutes.
“And our community theatre is like a 15-minute drive (or 25-minute bicycle) out of town … now that’s frustrating.”
Joe sounds pretty ridiculous doesn’t he?
Let’s be honest, the majority of Yukoners are lucky if they hear four songs on the radio before they make it to work in the morning.
Yet still we complain, drive quick and scrape only part of our front windshield on a crisp winter morning.
And I do it, too.
Long gone are my days of the 40-minute commute to school.
These days I can actually walk to work quicker than it used to take me to drive to school.
But still I am rushed in the morning, cursing the school traffic as I try to scrape my windshield with my elbow and balance a coffee in my lap.
And I know I’m not the only one.
Let’s face it Yukoners, we all need to slow down.
If a friend invites you for dinner in Porter Creek, don’t ponder the drive, accept the generous invite and start making that Greek salad or artichoke dip.
If you get caught behind a school bus in the morning, sip your coffee slowly, enjoy the local radio banter and enjoy the view.
After all, you could be stuck on the 401 with Trent or waiting for your third transfer at the subway station with Gloria.