In The Netherlands we have this awesome public transport pass called the OV Chipcard. You need it for pretty much all types of public transport, and I use it daily on my travels to and fro Amsterdam. It requires you to check in at your departure location and check out again at your destination. If your chipcard is inspected while traveling and happens to not be checked in you risk a fine.
Due to the fact that traveling to Amsterdam is part of my daily routine, I am often on autopilot while doing so, and sometimes I find myself sitting in the train without any memory of whether or not I checked in. This kind of sucks, because it makes me nervous about the train dude showing up, thinking I might get a fine. I’ve had it happen that he asked for my card, with me fidgeting nervously, SURE that I was about to get fined because I had zero recollection of checking in so surely I had forgotten. Only to have him give me my card back with his noncommittal-train-guy-face, and move on to the next person.
After this happened on several occasions, I slowly began to `trust’ in my subconscious checking in for me. It’s a weird idea, that. That my body is somehow separate from me, and knows how to do stuff without any input from “me”.
Today was another one of those days, except this time for some reason I was feeling anxious that I might have indeed forgotten to check in. I spent the whole journey anticipating the ticket inspector. He was a no-show. And what good fortune for me because when checking out in Amsterdam I noticed it lit up as “checked in” instead of out!
I spent 100 seconds looking at the slowly crawling seconds hand on the clock before being allowed to check out again, but although this made me two minutes late arriving at the office, I figure all in all today started out on a positive note as I saved myself 6 euros and 40 cents on the one way fare Utrecht – Amsterdam! 🙂