Brit’s Brain Goes Haywire Over New York Subway System

British journalist Bim Adewunmi has been in New York for the last few weeks and apparently taking the subway has driven her insane. Writing in The Guardian, she expresses the feeling in the most colorful way possible:

“Think of a book with an opening scene set in a village in rural England. There’s a winding country lane, and in the distance can be heard the relentlessly tuneful whistle of a milkman, and the gentle moo of a cow. Yes, there are still milkmen and there are still cows, but look closer: the cows are wearing smart white coats and jaunty little hats, delivering milk extracted from humans. Terrifying image, isn’t it?”

Everything about her description of the MTA is glorious. Some more highlights:

  • “But then, slowly, the entire system reveals itself to you. It is the work of a sadist, cooked up in a fever dream and delivered with a flourish and an unhinged grin.”

  • “Here, I become an overawed simpleton. ‘Train go vroom but where train go?’ I ask the unimpressed, triumphantly unhelpful MTA staff.”

  • “‘At least it’s cheap,’ I say to myself as I rock in the foetal position. ‘At least it’s cheap.’”

Allow me to respectfully disagree: The Seattle area’s Metro Transit system is the most absurd public transportation system on the planet. God help if you live in Bothell and you don’t have a car, particularly on the weekends. At least in New York, it’s feasible to bike 15 miles without disintegrating into a useless heap of carbon by the end. I visited New York in July and the subway was one of the few things that kept my neurotic brain intact because it felt just like Chicago’s transit system, except even dirtier and even less well-ventilated (really, New York = [Chicago X 100] – my friends).

Anyway, if you need a laugh (and don’t we all?), I suggest Adewunmi’s column. Maybe we should send her a care package? [The Guardian]