Monday, August 10, 2009

Come on, baby, do the locomotion!

So in Ohio? There's no public transportation. Oh, I mean, there are usually bus systems in fairly large cities, but no one who can afford a car actually uses them.

Well in DC? It's different. Lots of people do use cars, true, but lots of people also use the metro. (That's, like, DC-speak for "subway," except part of it is above-ground.) So for my month here, I've been joining the crowd and taking the train to work. You know, "when in Rome" and all that.

The most amazing thing to me about the metro is how, even though I get on the train at 5AM (having to be at the hospital at 6 will do that to you), the cars are already at least half-full. It's crazy. I actually had to wait for people to stop using the escalator before I could get a picture of it without feeling like the paparazzi. (I know it's just an escalator and you know what escalators look like, but humor me, okay?)

One thing I've learned about the metro station escalators in DC? "WALK LEFT, STAND RIGHT." Even I, who have been a commuter here for only one little week, feel enormously irritated when someone stands on the left. And it is always a tourist.

The other amazing thing about the metro is the variety of people who use it. You'll see businesspeople reading the newspaper and looking important, trendy twenty-somethings reading the latest New York Times bestseller, angsty teenagers with iPod headphones permanently implanted in their ears, blue-collar workers carrying hard hats under their arms, retired men wearing black socks with shorts who sit pleasantly not doing anything at all... not to mention tourists. Though I guess I did mention them. (The other day I saw a young Asian guy reading a tourist book called "USA," where everything but the title was written in Chinese.)

Even when I took this picture at 5AM, there were already (besides me in my scrubs) several suits, at least one twenty-something, and a whole mess of construction workers.

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