The following ramble was not inspired by the recent blackout impacting the New York subway system, I promise.
Ramble of the Day
On one of those days I spent riding the Paris metro last month, I was thinking about how relatively smooth the ride was. It’s become a regular occurrence for me to think this in every other metro system in the world at this point. They’re all better for obvious reasons, which I’ll have to outline as evidence to back up the point I’m about to make: If you’re new to public transportation, do not go to New York first (unless you have to).
Allow me to summarize a normal metro experience, based on my recent trips to London, Madrid, and Paris. You’ll obviously have to check Google maps before you walk down the stairs and into a train station, but once you there, things get easier. There are plenty of signs indicating which stops you’ll encounter if you walk into that tunnel. In case you need the reminder, they’ll tell you again once you officially enter the metro. Once you get in, you may enter a train that has no air conditioning (this was the case in Paris), but the trains come pretty frequently and run relatively efficiently. In some places, you’ll notice that all the exits for a train are on the same side of the actual train, making it easy for you to figure out how to get out if you’re in a crowded train and far from the door. You’ll get to your destination on time, and without much of a story unless someone does something on the train.
In New York, one will definitely have to consult Google maps before getting started. Don’t forget to check if you need to go uptown or downtown, because that map on the outside is definitely harder to read than a list of stops. You won’t see a map again until you enter a train, and if you’re lucky, they may list the stops on an electronic screen in the train. You’ll likely have some air conditioning in the train, but the actual track is hot any time of year. You likely will be waiting at least 3 minutes for a train, which is fine if the wait is on the shorter side, and not so much if it’s the on the longer side. The train may stop at some point along the way, but you’ll eventually get out. You’ll have to guess which door opens, though, which isn’t the easiest thing if the train’s packed. Also, there’s no such thing as mastery when they change the routes every weekend to account for construction.
Basically, it’s as if the world’s metro systems are all part of one massive game. The game’s pretty easy, but there’s that one round where the difficulty setting is unnecessarily high. An ability to understand the New York system is totally possible, and doing so makes all the other metro systems in the world seemingly simple. Enjoy the easier ones first, if you can.
tl;dr: New York’s subway has an unnecessarily high difficulty setting.
Links of the Day
Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser al-Khelaifi has reportedly violated transfer rules in relation to the signing of Javier Pastore.
A Swedish man has been denied the opportunity to change his name to Tottenham after winning a contest to change his name to his favorite English club.
Transfer updates: Everton has signed Fabian Delph from Manchester City
Today’s longer read: Tariq Panja with an update on the fight to allow women in Iranian stadiums as Maryam Shojaei, sister of the men’s national team captain Masoud Soleimani Shojaei, asks FIFA to consider a ban for The New York Times