Transportation that Terrifies Me

Elissa Sanci

Currently, I am sitting on the Bridgeport-Port Jefferson Ferry, an enormous boat that takes passengers across the Long Island Sound from Connecticut to New York. I’m going back home for the weekend. I’m sitting in a comfortable, six person booth; the seats are squishy, the table is clean, and there’s an outlet right next to me for my laptop. Across from me, a TV is on, voices of the ABC news anchors talking about the approaching Hurricane Sandy. My boyfriend is getting something to eat from the fast food stand at the back of the boat. I feel as though I’m sitting in a diner; I’m just waiting for my food—I can barely tell that I’m on a boat.

And that’s terrifying.

Boats, planes, trains—all are means of transportation that have been used for centuries, and all have progressively been getting better and more convenient to use. Gone are the days of rickety boats, slow train journeys that took weeks to complete, and uncomfortable airplane seats (to a certain degree).

Now, you get cocktails on an airplane, watch an HD movie on a boat, and recline in comfortable chairs on a train. It’s astounding how we’ve managed to make traveling so comfortable. We’ve made something that we need to do into something that we like to do; we’ve taken our home entertainment systems and comforts and translated them to normally uncomfortable and undesirable places.

However, what scares me (and I know I’m not the only one) is that, although these luxuries are distracting, they do not change the fact that I’m currently on a boat. I’m on a boat. Boats sink. And it’s not like boats don’t have a history of sinking. I know what you’re thinking: that’s so 19th century, you’re freaking out over nothing. But that’s not true either! I would like to point your attention to not nine months ago, when the Italian cruise ship, Costa Concordia, ran aground leaving more than six people dead.

It’s not like these things don’t happen. Ships sink, planes crash, and trains derail. Although these accidents are scarce, they do happen—and that’s scary. All of the luxuries added on to make trips more comfortable also seem to give passengers a false sense of security. “I’m watching Jeopardy! right now, so there’s no way anything can happen to me. Not while I’m watching Jeopardy!”

Disasters can happen at any time—yes, maybe I’m blowing all of this way out of proportion, and maybe I’m overthinking all of this, but you can’t say that something tragic definitely won’t happen; there’s always a chance.

I’m still on a boat, and all this talk of disaster is making me nervous. I’ll put away my laptop now and finish watching the episode of Jeopardy! that’s on right now. Nothing bad can happen to me while I’m watching Jeopardy!