Trains and Tourists

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One of the greatest joys (or not) of working in NYC is the daily subway ride. With a little more than 650 miles of track, 468 subway stations, and an annual ridership of 1.3 billion passengers, which makes it the number 5 most used system in the world, it’s not a surprise that every hour spent in the subway is an adventure!

Having to spend two hours daily in the wonderful world of the NYC Subway System I have seen my share of subway acts and mishaps. By far the most entertaining has to be watching foreigners riding the subway. I say this because the NYC subway system is a pretty complicated one without the extra worry of not knowing where you are going. In my lifetime of riding the subway I’ve had my share of falling asleep in the train and waking up 20 stops away from my destination; or the classic re-routing of trains, and what you thought was the E train turns out is now an F train going somewhere totally different!

But what brings me to this entry is the fact that I had a foreigner rider encounter yesterday afternoon. As I took the F train going downtown from West 4th Street this pretty blond girl entered the crowded train. She was lugging a huge backpack with what I guess where her wordly possesions while in NYC. After making her way into the crowded train, and bumping me 5 times with the over stuffed bag, she began to ask questions regarding to where the train was heading. Depending on the person you ask, you may or may not get the correct answer, but we had a sharp crowd and several answers were immediately shouted. And now for the one mistake that gives away a tourist in a crowded nyc subway train. She stood in the middle of the car, and even though there were at lest three places to hold on to before the train started to roll, she did not hold on to any of them. Luckily for her I was standing besides her, so as she began to fall as the train accelerated, I was able to push her back to a standing position. This happened a couple of times until she got the idea that the metals poles protruding from the ceiling were designed to hold on to!

Well, I did my good semaritan deed of the day by not allowing her to fall, but I guess if you take anything away from this entry it has to be this:

While in NYC if you happen to enter a crowded train, please do not forget to hold on to something, be it the door, a seat, your loved one, or something else. You may not be as lucky as the pretty blond girl to have someone next to you that will hold you back from falling!

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