A day in the New York subway

I have always had a love/hate relationship with the New York subways. I love the subways but when it is freezing and I really cannot walk outside but that is probably the only thing I love.  There is so much I hate about it! This is my rant about everything I hate about it:

– When I first moved to the city, navigating around was nothing short of impossible- the map (above) that is impossible to read, deciding whether my destination was uptown or downtown, and the choice of trains from A, B, C, D,….or Z. So if you are new here, you are literally lost- people aren’t friendly so you cant count on directions from them, and the information office is impossible- you can never get more than one answer from them so you have to pick your question wisely!

– This sign is up in every single car over the subway, but does it matter?

OF COURSE NOT! Every morning, the door will open and shut atleast 5-10 times before it leaves every station.  People always try to squeeze in, they will block the door and wait for the rest of their gang of friends or family join in. They don’t mind throwing their bag in the way, their jacket- anything that stick!

– Morning time is also a joy when people don’t mind jamming in like a can of tuna. And you can count on having one sketchy guy who seems creepy and too close to comfort, the guy who believes in sharing his body odor and bad breath with the world, and the stylish albeit angry woman who is willing to pick a fight if you as much as breathe the same hair as her.

– It is called rush hour, so you would assume trains would rush by. But in New York, it actually means the train will before every station, usually because of “train traffic ahead of us”. Doesn’t stopping each train in this tortuous way make the traffic much much worse?

– On a day when you have tons of bags or had to run around to get things done, you will never ever get a seat. Instead you will see people who decide they deserve two seats so they sit between two.

– On the rare chance that you manage to a seat, you have some unpleasant surprises. I never understand why people love to love their juice cartons and cans on the seat. It is never fun to walk around with your butt smelling like orange juice!

– And last but not the least, the ride is never dull- you can see anything from crazy ranting folks, to singing mariachi bands, to people soliciting money and begging. But the one thing you can count on- you can never get a quiet, peaceful ride back home. That is fine for most days, but on days when you are stressed and fried, all you want is a peaceful 20 minutes before you get back to the chaos!

Do you have any pet peeves about traveling too? Sound off below!


2 comments on “A day in the New York subway

  1. Travel woes are indeed universal!Train travel in Mumbai is pretty much similar. It is like a battle and the minute you get off at the station you need to, it seems like a mammoth achievement. If my memory serves me right, researchers from all over the world have expressed their surprise and wonder on how people travel in local trains in Mumbai without being pushed out!!The number of people who travel in a compartment is simply appalling. In spite of the verbal exchanges and the sweat streaming down your face (and smelling the arm pit of the person standing next to you), people travel with the same vigour and enthusiasm everyday. Call it sheer desperation or helplessness or necessity, friendships are formed, relationships are made, and Roh, believe me, marriages have happened (yes, the Saathiya way.LOL). Train travel in Mumbai is integral to every Mumbaikar who works hard for his living by travelling between suburbs, come rain come sunshine come bomb blast come political unrest..The average Mumbaikar and train travel are indeed strange bedfellows..hahaha

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