“The flavour of the city is in its public transportation,” a friend told me. “It’s the people.” I laughed him off and declared that being isolated was better. Throughout the years I had convinced myself that I couldn’t afford social intercourse; that driving was easier and more private. I repeated over and over again that I wouldn’t spend my time on the bus or the subway because I would not allow the courteous passerby to smile at me.
One day, my car went on a strike and I was obligated to afford that social awkwardness, to embrace the offbeat and to become one more in the long line of courteous passersby. At first I thought I understood what my friend meant by flavour: the sweat. Then, I really understood: a guy was drawing every passenger on his sketchbook, a couple was holding hands, an old lady talked about her niece’s birthday as she patted a stuffed animal’s head… It was a flavour, a symphony, a novel and a masterpiece, all at once. I proved myself guilty of city-lust, of people-gluttony, and decided that every bite was worth the price.