Thursday, June 2, 2011

My First (and last) 6pm Subte Ride

Rush hour. I know I'm an Arkansas gal and in Little Rock, rush hour is like a normal Sunday afternoon compared to other capital cities. But I've been to Madrid. I've ridden the metro in Paris. And I've still never seen anything like the B.A. subte* at 6:00 in the afternoon.

People squish in the already small, rectangular train cars with a certain ruthlessness so they are not the one stuck waiting for the next to come. Once the doors close, though, there is this common feeling like...really? Even sardines aren't canned into spaces this compact. And we are doing it to ourselves!

At one point my laptop, though still hanging on my arm, got separated from me by a person shoved in the sphere of my underarm. Two stops later, my laptop and arm were suddenly wrapped around my back while my other hand was wedged between myself and the guy's wallet in front of me. I thought to myself "If I were a thief, this would be the perfect opportunity! Since I'm not, it's just a little bit awkward." Thank goodness the word 'awkward' doesn't exist in Spanish, then we both would have felt it.

I'm glad I had the foresight to buy a bag of assorted caramelos, or chewy caramel and chocolate candies, on the way to the station. Those are my vice just as cigarettes are a smoker's vice. Once I got off, it only took me two blocks to eat through half my stash. Then I was okay. Those candies were expensive, though! They cost almost as much as the bottle of wine I bought last night ;)

Alas, after 2 hours, 3 errands, 7 blocks and a sigh of relief, I'm home! I'm tired, but it's the good kind of tired. The kind that's satisfying because you know you've had a productive day. And this was an experience to check off the list of things I must endure to become a city girl! So from now on, I know I'm not missing anything if I stick with the bus.

*what they call the subway


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