Every time I ride, I encounter a new part of the world. Everytime I ride, I remember why I am in the city: to encounter new things and live uncomfortably.

I’ve had to wipe racism off my shoes, jeans, and face.

Yet sometimes a young mother with a child in a stroller is playing peek-a-boo, distracting the baby from the quivering heap of humanity one seat over.

I’ve seen a man afraid of everything, shaking and yelling when anyone moves.

Yet sometimes the driver gets out of his seat, kneels the bus, and carries the stroller off.

I’ve had melted ice cream thrown at a group of black high schoolers standing next to me because “you are trash”, splattering me and another bystander in the process.

Yet sometimes you see joy in the face of a kid riding a train for the first time.

I’ve smelled everything on a hot rainy day during rush hour, everyone a grain of rice being cooked.

But always I experience something new, something strange, something different and unexpected; always uncomfortable.