When I return home, there will be many things I think I will miss about Russia. The metro during rush hour, however, will not be one of them. Yesterday as I was going to work I thought about the chaos that was occurring around me and I had to laugh. Out loud. It’s possible that people thought I was crazy for laughing out loud to myself in the metro, but I honestly don’t care. If you saw the madness and actually thought about it you would either laugh or cry. I chose laughing as that seemed a little more appropriate for such a public place.
The metro during rush hour goes against everything I have been brought up to be. From my days in preschool I have been told, “wait your turn…stand in line…don’t push.” Which makes me wonder...do they have preschool in Russia? Literally throngs of people PUSH their way to get onto the escalator that brings them down to the platform. Sometimes I want to say to the person in front of me, “Good work, Grandma. You pushed yourself onto the step right in front of me and you will now make it to the platform a half second before I do. Congratulations!” It really is unfortunate I don’t speak Russian. ;-) Therefore, it is safe to say I don’t enjoy being a part of the madness. And thus far, I have held to my American standards and refused to push. Though I have a feeling one day in the near future…perhaps a day when my students have been particularly unruly…I will deliver a firm shove to the person in front of me. And I suspect it will feel quite good. ;-)
In addition to not enjoying the process it takes to get onto the metro, I also have not developed my metro legs, which makes the journey interesting when I am unable to lean against something or hold on. I am in awe of the people who stand there, free of any support, as the metro jerks and shakes. It really is a skill.
However, there is always a silver lining. I have a created a game for the metro. After all, you do what you have to in order to amuse yourself and not make it home in a bad mood. You see, everyday my future husband passes me on the down escalator as I ride the up escalator. By the time I make it to the top I must pick the man I will marry. I give myself one opportunity to change my selection on the way up (as experience has taught me I don’t always choose wisely the first time…or the second…or the third…) but I must make my decision before I reach the top. This is a game even my Dad could play, as there is strategy involved. Pick a decent candidate early on. You can always change your mind if a tall man with dark hair and mysterious eyes passes you towards the top.
I’ve won almost every day. Except on Tuesday. I thought I would be daring and walk on the wild side and wait until the very end to make my selection. However, it turned out there were slim pickings at the top. No matter. I’m sure he had a great personality…