Who Will You Meet On a 2-Hour Subway Ride?

I wrote about subway commute right after I started Just Like NY. People who have never visited NY, don’t realize how huge this city is. On Saturday I decided to visit my friend who works in the Bronx. And because I live down in Brighton Beach now and his stop was the last subway stop up in the Bronx, it was really quite a ride (see pic below). It took me 2.30h to get there! It would have taken less, but it was weekend. What does it mean? Usually it means the one announcement that drives everyone insane: “Because of construction, this train is not running…”, or “is running on a different track”, or “is running late”. There is ALWAYS something wrong during the weekend. And if you have to switch trains, you can be sure that you’ll be – excuse my language – fucked at some point of your ride. And it wasn’t different this time. Suddenly I waited over half an hour for another train and I had to go to a different level, because it suddenly changed its route. 

When you spend over 2 hours on various trains, you can be more than sure to find yourself in a few positions and probably you will end up experiencing all of them:

–          The “Showtime, Showtime” time which I wrote about on Just Like NY already. It’s fun sometimes, and I really have respect for these guys, but when a train is crowded – and on a weekend it is – it just becomes a hassle for everybody

–          The train suddenly stops and there are announcements about a sudden change – you suddenly can go in a direction you didn’t want to go, and there is nothing you can about it

–          A kid starts crying – it’s almost a regular thing; that’s why you’re constantly carrying your headphones – after 20 min of crying you just can’t handle it anymore

–          You need your headphones when you hear live musicians on your train. Don’t get me wrong – I admire these guys and think that you have to have huge balls to sing on a subway (I almost always tip them), but during a 2-hour ride you can encounter 3 different musicians and sometimes it’s just too much

–          At least 3-4 people will be begging for money and it’s a difficult one, because you really feel bad for them and you feel guilty not to give them a dollar, but again – how much money you can spend during one ride, not to mention the monthly card you had to buy in the first place?

–          One of the passengers starts singing, I swear, it’s almost for 100%. I don’t know what is it, I don’t know what it is about NYC, but everyone thinks that they can sing. I’m very sensitive to sounds ( I really am, I can’t even stand high notes, because it messes with my brain), so sometimes it’s really painful for me. Again, headphones. 

–          Someone will start talking about Jesus and God and how we all end up in hell. Don’t even ask me to start on this one. 

Don’t be judgmental about others “distancing themselves” from other people with headphones. Please, take a long ride every day for a while (my commute is one hour each way) and then let’s talk. It’s not distancing ourselves, it has nothing to do with “alienation” – is just a matter of survival. I’m at a very end of the orange line – on the bottom to the right, and he’s at the very end of the green line – on the top of the map.