Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Don't take the Subway (Subte)

Ok, the title isn't REALLY true.

But after spending over 2 weeks in total so far in Buenos Aires, I have had the pleasure of taking this subway system during morning and evening commute at least 6 or 7 times.

And wow, it is just ridiculous.

I've learned to try to get a spot on the yellow area of the train platform, that area you aren't supposed to stand because it is really close to the train.

Here's what happens:

-Train Approaches. You see the train is PACKED, and there can not possibly be room for any more people.

-You get yourself ready, and hope that the door stops near you.

-Door opens. You realize there isn't any space in the train. Literally. Everyone is standing. Take a deep breath because your gonna make it in.

-3 people get out. You smash your body just inside the door, enough to not get crushed when it closes, helped by all the people pushing you from behind to try and squeeze that last body in. 6 people or more get in.

-Then comes the reaaallllly uncomfortable part. Typically, the front of my body, and thank god for my messenger bag as a buffer, is pressed up against someones backside. The same goes for someone behind me. One either side of me, my arms are smashing into people. I try to cock my head to one side so my face isn't in someones hair. You really get to know your neighbors.

-When you get to estacion Diagonal Norte to transfer to another line, the car floods out like sheep. Repeat above for the second train ride.

When people need to get off, they push their way through to the train to the doors through nonexistent space, and you get smashed into someone else even more because of this. It's like a rock concert but more tranquil. Typically, during the ride, you don't even need to hold onto something to brace yourself, because you have so many bodies doing that job. One time, I did put my hand onto the ceiling to brace myself...I didn't have space to lower my elbow the entire train ride.

Looking on the bright side, at least they are using public transportation!!! It costs a little less than 30 cents a ride for me (1.10 pesos!).

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