Author: Josh Lew
Shoulder to shoulder with locals. Is there a better way to really get to know a country than to ride public transit with the local population?
I don't think there is.
Your phrasebook has replaced your wallet in your back pocket. Your money is tucked safely in your like a resident of the city.
As far as gaining insight into daily life, there is no place better than public transit. Other riders are (generally) friendly, or at least grateful for an anomaly (that's you) to distract them from the drudgery of a daily commute.
The general "how-tos" of taking local transit might make you apprehensive at first: how to find the right train or bus, how to pay for your ticket, where to sit (or stand). Do what you see everyone else doing and you'll be fine. Just think, the next time you can impress your fellow travelers with the confident ease with which you ride the local subway.