Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Wasting time in the waste lands


The trains have been delayed every day for the last couple of weeks.
Sometimes stretching a promised 30 minutes trip into hours.
If it isn't branches falling down on the wires, cutting traffic off,
it's simply the "equipment" that is not working.

They have no shame charging full price for the service whether it's equipment failure or mother nature causing the delays.
I buy the fact that they can't do much about winds or leaves.
But hey, it's a matter of maintenance as well.
Why wait pruning until rotten branches fall of the trees?

The only time in years the train wasn't delayed was yesterday.
I came running into the station 8.11.26. p.m. The 8.11 p.m train had left exactly on the second.
That has probably never happened before.
But it did yesterday.
I would have made it if it wasn't for the fact that the Metro, the subway, also took far longer than normal, snailing its way through the tunnels.
It took a different track and didn't stop at Penn Station as it was supposed to. So I had to run a couple of blocks over. We were a whole bunch of people chasing down the street as rats running towards a newly opened cheese store.
Why run? Well, the trains a tthour are an hour in between.
Sure the enough. The 9.11 was 15 minutes late.

You simply can't trust public transportation in NY and surrounding states to work as promised.
It's a bloody nightmare.
If you don't take a rather pragmatic view of missing meetings, theaters, dates, job deadlines, life etc. you go nuts. Which most New Yorkers actually have. Gone nuts that is.

I lived in Tokyo for a while.
It's a way bigger city in many ways. Far more spread out.
Trains and subways were never delayed. Not even seconds.

Add insult to injury by being offered one of the ugliest of approaches in the world to a big city.
On the way in from the suburbs of New Jersey you pass through wastelands. The ones Springsteen sings about.
Soprano gangster-land. Derelict factories.
Slum neighborhoods. Decay in general.
And what naturethere is, are swamps.
Penn station isn't much of grand welcome either, which I have written about earlier.
Ugly is an understatement.
Anyway, it's still a helluva city be in. NY.

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