Thursday, October 9, 2014


BART is shorthand for Bay Area Rapid Transit. It is not to be confused with the character of the same name on the long running American cartoon show The Simpsons. BART is an aging system of trains that pass for public transportation in the region. The signage is horrendous and the intercom barely audible. The trains are infrequent and most ticketing machines are out of order. If a station once had a functioning escalator it has most likely reverted back to a staircase long ago. The stations also serve as homeless shelters in a nation which has as little regard for its poor as it does for its public transportation infrastructure.

Entrance to a BART station

While San Francisco is a large open air urinal for many of its wild and wacky inhabitants, BART is a veritable bathroom in motion. The only reason it is not called BARF is because that would not encompass the entirety of the human deposits left behind on the train over the decades. Many of the train carriages on BART come with wall-to-wall carpeting. The aged fabric is splotched with the stains of time and puke. Sometimes the floor is sticky. Occasionally, the seats are as well. The fragrances on board are in sync with the stains on the floors.


“A prison cell, in which one waits, hopes - and is completely dependent on the fact that the door of freedom has to be opened from the outside...”  ― Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Like a Villain

Coworker: Where do you live?

Me: In the Tenderloin.

Coworker: Oh, I never go to that part of town!

Me: Why not? It has character.

Coworker: Like a villain has character.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Standard Deviation

Manager: Why isn't anything working today!?

Subordinate: You ask this question as if somehow today is a deviation from the norm.

Saturday, September 13, 2014


Me: There's a notice posted on the door of my apartment elevator asking people not to leave their garbage inside.

Friend: Arnab, are you OK with these restrictions on your freedom?

Monday, September 8, 2014

Tales from the Taqueria

Despite being plagued by a string of natural and man-made calamities ranging from drought and destitution to earthquakes and tech geeks, the Bay Area does have some redeeming qualities. Chief among them is the authentic Mexican fare found at franchises like Chipotle or at the many mom and pop taquerias dotting neighbourhoods like the Mission. The tacos, burritos, nachos, and a barley/rice based concoction known as horchata are all delightful menu items. Ordering these can get a bit messy when the service staff have accents thicker than a scoop of guacamole.

Me: Can I have super nachos with chorizo?

Waitress: Is that for here or to go?

Me: Chorizo.

Waitress: No, do you want it for here or to go?

Me: To go.

Waitress: With chorizo?

Me: No, to go.