Saturday, September 6, 2008

If You Think the NY Subway System Is Bad

It seems people at Merlo station are not entirely happy with the train service. Or they're not entirely happy with something. Instead of getting on the train and grumbling ill-naturedly, the way New Yorkers do when they ride the subways, they set the thing afire.

If you don't know what Merlo is, it is a suburb of Buenos Aires. If you don't know what Buenos Aires is, it is a dilapidated city in Argentina. If you don't know what Argentina is, don't worry. Most Americans can't find the United States on a map, let alone Argentina. If you live in the midwestern US, though, you know what dilapidated means. If you live in the midwest and you don't know what dilapidated means, you need to get out more.

Dilapidated is what the train was when passengers got through with it. Naturally, local TV stations had camera crews out to photograph the damage. In a statement played on TV, company spokesman Gustavo Gago said: "They absolutely can't attack a public service in this way."

Well, no jive, Gustavo. I think you got that one right, son. It's damn hard to get to work on the train if the train is on fire, is what I always say.

The problem is, despite what Gustavo had to say, passengers seem to attack the system anyway. They did the same thing to a train south of the city last year. Riders at Castelar seemed to be no happier with the train service than they were at Merlo. But instead of setting the trains ablaze, they threw rocks at the ticket office. One presumes there was no train in sight or they would have attacked that instead. Some of them made a nuisance of themselves by standing on the rails, but they surely removed themselves as soon as they saw a train approaching.

If there were any trains left to dodge, that is.

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