Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Subway seething

A lovely day in New York today, warm and sunny, with low humidity and a light breeze, which thankfully meant I could walk to work for the first time in a few weeks. I love to walk the couple of miles to and from work if I can – more exercise = more cake – but unfortunately the weather has been so humid lately that walking would mean arriving at the office a perspiration soaked mess, so for the last couple of weeks I’ve been forced to descend into the bowels of Manhattan and take the subway.

I’m not a huge fan of the subway during rush hour. Admittedly it is my preference to live in a city of 8million people, most of whom need to get to work of a morning, and I’ll give you that I’m easily aggravated before coffee, but there are certain subway behaviours that drive me up the wall…

1. Elephantitis suffers: There’s clearly an epidemic of elephantitis of the nuts among a significant portion of the male population of New York. How else to explain why so many of them feel the need to spread their legs so wide while seated, so as to take up enough room for 2-3 people?

2. Stair obstructers: I completely understand that people might need to take a little break after huffing and puffing their way up the subway stairs to change trains, but is it really necessary for them to stop quite so suddenly at the top of the stairs to catch their breath, thus causing a 12 person pile up behind them? Would it kill them to take just one more step to the side and MOVE OUT OF THE WAY!!!!

3. The shovers: The ones who don’t give you the slightest chance to get out at your stop before they are barging inside the carriage before the doors have fully opened. Its rush hour, it’s not like you’re going to bag yourself a seat. It may sound draconian, but there are days when I would champion the introduction of a system to deliver an electric shock to anyone who aggressively shoulders their way onto the carriage within 2seconds of the door opening.

4. Pole hogs: Those who feel they are perfectly entitled to lean their entire body against the pole in the centre of a crowded subway carriage whilst other commuters struggle to hold on by their fingertips? Selfish bastards!!!

5. Backpackers: Commuters surgically attached to their gym packs and seemingly oblivious, or not caring, that aforementioned item sticks out a foot behind their bodies and takes out 4people every time they move. TAKE IT OFF AND PUT IT AT YOUR FEET FOR CHRISSAKES!!!

Here’s hoping for more days of low humidity so that I can happily walk to the office. That Satre bloke certainly knew what he was talking about, Hell is indeed other people, at least on the subway.

I’m going to yoga now. I think I need it.

Photo: Design_Database @ Flickr.com


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Victorya said...

omgosh I totally agree with you! I'm petitioning Bloomy for a cow prod license, as these are all my gripes. More than that though I want a phaser so I can turn these pushers and shovers into little piles of dust.

You left off people who stand in the doorway, those who talk really loudly on the subway, those who read the newspaper with it COMPLETELY OPEN so it takes up either side then get mad if you say something about it pushing you AND, the worse, those who force themselves into a seat that doesn't exist. Like when they see that offwhite sliver between the orange and yellow seats is visible so decide it's a seat and sit on you because you have no where to move.

fishwithoutbicycle said...

Ha ha thanks Victorya, you are absolutely right, I really could have gone on and on and on. Let's start that petition to Bloomberg for those cattle prods ;-)

Btw speaking of the seat squeezers, a woman in London actually sat on me once, because she wanted to sit next to her friend. The difference was it was on the Central line where they have arm rests, so there was clear demarcation between the seats. The woman literally sat in my lap until I pushed her off. I have no problem moving seats if someone asks nicely, but don't bloody sit on me. Cheeky bugger.

Amanda said...

Snerk. Too funny! I don't have subway stories, since my area of the US doesn't believe in mass transpo... but I hear you.

My little sister lives in Brooklyn, and was in Manhattan somewhere. She got her Master's degree at the London School of Economics.

No, I'm not going to ask you if you know her. That would be stupid. Yes, I'm going to blogroll you. Because you're that entertaining.

Have a good one!

fishwithoutbicycle said...

Thanks Amanda. I'm thrilled you enjoyed the post :-)