Metrosexual

Or my amorous two-week affair with the Paris Metro.

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  • So many trains! I don’t think I waited longer than five minutes for one ever (beyond unheard of in the US)
  • Little lit up signs that tell you how long a wait it is until the next train and how long until the train after that. How will I ever go back to the hanging anticipation and dread of waiting for US public transportation or (horror of horrors) the Yale shuttle, which, while it has a mobile online tracking app, somehow also manages to be completely unpredictable
  • You can open the windows on the trains and feel the wind in your hair and whistling past your ears! Whoosh.
  • The subway smell isn’t the same in the US. And truthfully, I prefer American subway smell. Paris has no uniform subway smell. Some lines are really offensive and/or urinous.  But others have this lovely burnt wood/carpentry smell. You know the smell of a rotary saw going through wood? That smell. (Kind of a worrisome smell for a subway, but it’s nice)
  • The subway performers!  Some of them (MANY of them) are real fucking artists. You get cellists, harpists, trumpet players (also had one playing next to me on a train), opera singers, and the whole string section of an orchestra- I believe the groups name was Metro Classical, Dad bought a CD. Does Paris hold auditions or something?
  • Trains that don’t have separate cars- you can just walk all the way through some of them. And then one of the trains that had separate cars, we saw a man open the door, walk the link, and then open the door into the next car (Despite the ‘passage interdit’ sign). Excellent.
  • The stops are really well-spaced. The spacing of the stops makes a feng shui kind of sense.
  • The maps make sense– come on, it’s unusual!
  • The Colette entrance is this gorgeous and ridiculous colorful thing, and a lot of the entrances and exits have a pretty art deco design.
  • Th seats, some of them you can flip up or down depending on how much of a crowd you have in the train.
  • The Navigo pass is a perfect way to get around the city for a week like a local for not a lot of money at all. Particularly when you consider how many times you can use the metro in a week.

I’ve always loved public transportation. And sometime I’ll share the American memories that have made me this way. But in the meantime, this is an AMAZING metro system and I’m passionately in love and I might just stay here and live with it.

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