- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 27, 2006

My first week, I got lost. It took an accidental trip on the Blue Line toward Largo Town Center for me to realize that Metro trains for different lines sometimes run on the same track.

“Funny, I don’t usually pass Arlington National Cemetery on the way to work,” I thought, before it dawned on me that this wasn’t the Yellow Line.

I was turned around, and I would now miss the shuttle from Union Station to The Washington Times.

I guess the novelty of Metro — not “the Metro,” I learned from an editor — wears off once you’ve been in the city for a while. But I’m from Kansas, you see. We don’t do public transportation. Metro is foreign to me, and, at least for now, riding it is fun.

After a few weeks, I have my morning routine down. I dash out the door in flip-flops, high heels shoved in my bag, and power-walk to the station clutching my MP3 player. I grab my newspaper, descend the escalator (which is broken) and join the swelling mass crowding the turnstiles. Most of these people are off to do something purposeful. It gives me kind of a rush.

Every day I crane my neck as the train passes over the Potomac from Pentagon City on the way to L’Enfant Plaza. I stare at the skyline and the sun glittering off the water and the cars motoring over the bridge, their drivers off to take on the world.

I smile. If this isn’t Washington, what is?

Anne Malinee is a rising senior at Vanderbilt University.

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