Riding the Train

6 years ago

I was at a networking event last night and somehow the conversation turned to people on the train/subway and their eccentricities. Having used both the metro-north and LIRR, and now a subway user I can fully appreciate just how weird people are. I don’t even think appreciate is the right word – I’ve experienced everything from hilarity to downright terror on my travel escapades in NYC, and this is just in the one year I’ve worked in Manhattan. I can’t even imagine the stories that people have when they’ve been commuting for longer!

Here are just a few selections from my train vault – by no means an exhaustive list.

On the Metro-North: I used to commute into Manhattan from Greenwich CT. It was a pretty long commute and usually I’d leave early in the morning and make it home pretty late at night. One night on the ride home I had the lucky experience of sitting next a girl who just came back from getting an abortion. Um, yeah. I knew all about this abortion because she decided to get on her cell and start BAWLING to her boyfriend the minute we were above ground. So awkward. I felt really bad though, so I just stayed quiet and tried to focus on my reading.

On the LIRR: I also used to commute into Manhattan from Queens. One time I was standing on the platform waiting for the train when I went to go throw out a piece of paper. My hand went near the garbage can to open it and a freaking RAT jumped out of the garbage can, grabbed the paper and disappeared! I started screaming my head off, attracting all sorts of attention. At first I thought there was a homeless man hiding behind/in the garbage and that’s where the paper went. After seeing rustling and a really long TAIL I just freaked out and ran to the opposite end of the platform. If you’ve seen NYC rats, they are not cute. Or cuddly. Or even remotely domesticated. They are evil, vicious, cat-sized animals that will suck out your brains and leave your desiccated body for the crows. I hate them so, so much.

Another experience on the LIRR – I was waiting on the platform on a Sunday morning and a Mexican dude came up to me. No problem, usually if you ignore them they’ll just go away, right? Well, this dude started talking in Spanish and wouldn’t quit. I moved away, and he followed me. He kept talking. I know a little Spanish, and the stuff he was saying was really demented. I didn’t understand all of it, but he kept talking about dying in the hellfire and God having no mercy. Um, what? I was pretty freaked out, so I kept walking trying to get rid of him. It wasn’t even like this idiot was a couple feet away from me, he was almost right up against me. I got a little worried that he would try pushing me onto the train tracks or something equally crazy. Obviously something was mentally wrong with him. Luckily, the train came right at that minute and I just held the fence while this dude kept talking and finally the train stopped. I ran and jumped in, praying that he wouldn’t follow me. Dude stayed on the platform, just looking at me oddly.

So those are my train stories. There are so many, but those are two of the most memorable. As a current subway rider, I’ve also had some crazy experiences but those are for another post. What else can you expect in a city of 8 million?


With Love, Mah. 


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