When Philly is all wet and cold, everyone is all wet and cold.
Looking back to the rain in New Jersey, there was never a need for an umbrella unless you were going to an outdoor event and there was a chance for rain. In the rain, you hustled, maybe even jogged, to your car which was never farther than across the street at most. The furthest you parked from anywhere you needed to go was maybe at the grocery store and that's if you went at a busy time. Still, no need for an umbrella. Why would you want to carry that wet thing around the whole time anyway?
In Philly, your umbrella goes up before you've even locked the front door. You walk the block to the bus stop and you wait an average of five minutes and at this time maybe only your shoes are wet.
Then you get on the bus and everything goes to hell. The plastic grip walk mats are puddled and chances are you're sardined between two people who actually don't use umbrellas. They stink like hell to boot so now you're imagining you're young again playing How Long Can You Hold Your Breath in the pool with your brothers just to deal with the wet dog stank.
There's five wet umbrellas pressed against you including your own and you look around wondering why you're the only one in a rain coat. Thank goodness for my rain coat.
So you dig out your iPod from your bag of death and begin to slip on the head phones. Just then the bus driver decides to brake hard and you fall back and grab for the metal holding bar and it's nasty germy slippery wet and your hand slips off and you go crashing into the wet dog behind you. You offer a quiet apology and the only reason it's a quiet one is because you have witnessed the utmost worst scenarios of rudeness and never heard an apology uttered. You aplogize quietly because you begin to wonder if an offered apology has slowly become an unholy trespass; at least on SEPTA buses.
So you regain your footing and stare at the nasty germy slippery bar and then slowly and loosely wrap your palm around it. At least once a day you wonder when the last time someone took some Clorox or Lysol disinfecting wipes or spray and wiped these bars down. You would think it would be part of the drivers' or some employees' job to do that. But somehow I doubt it. This thought leads to disease and bird flu and you imagine how lucky you'll be when you make it out of public transportation all together in hopefully a few years alive.
Then you get off the bus and you can breathe again but just barely. There are specific parts of Philadelphia that just flat out reek when it rains.
Walk one block to the subway only because it is raining that bad and don't want to walk the additional 1.1 mile in said rain. Repeat everything that just happened on the bus except it's slightly less wet, slightly less crowded and generally the population at this time is a bit less germy and smelly.
Emerge from the subway into terrential downpour and walk the quarter mile to work and be careful at the curbs for God's sake.