Art & Culture

SURVIVING IN THE METRO 101

By: Malak Tera ​11/3/2017

 

Everywhere around the world, the subway is one of the easiest and fastest means of transportation. That applies in Cairo too, only Cairo’s infamous metro is not the same as any other. So, whether you are used to it or not, how do you survive a daily metro trip?
Rule no. 1: you don’t! Yet, there are still a few things that can help you live with it
*mission impossible soundtrack on*

1- Getting dressed: If you are planning on taking the metro, don’t ever wear your favorite shoes because the wreck it will become will only add to your list of sorrows. Same goes with clothes. (You could as well skip the ironing)
Also, brace yourself for the difference in temperature between the “metro world” and the normal world. If it’s summertime, I’d advise you to use a hand fan and not wear any layers. If it’s winter, I’d advise you to use a hand fan and not wear any layers (yes I said it twice).
A minor additional remark: Don’t sweat it if your perfume transforms miraculously from what you wore into a hateful smell of “ma7shy”, it mostly goes away once you get back to the normal world outside.
2- The metro vendors:  You’ll know them when you see them, and you’ll probably believe that they’re of different species. Some will throw things (products or even azkar) at you, chill; that’s normal, they’ll come back and get it in no time. However, beware not to have any potato peel slipping into your back from this guy selling the magical peeler!
3- “El-shohada”: Planning on taking the metro or getting off in this station? ABORT MISSION.
Unless you have to, then be prepared there’s a high chance you could join the list of our valiant martyrs, so put your armor on and focus on the door, you’ll get there even if not in a peaceful willing manner. May the impetus be forever in your favor!
4- Dealing with fellow metro riders: Try as hard as you can not to lose your temper to the person who leans on you all the way, you may think they mistake you for a wall, but truth is you mistake them for normal humans who think and feel the same way you do. They don’t.
Metro riders also often embrace intimacy a bit too much, so try to keep your distance (trust me; a girl once put her hand in my pocket accidentally assuming that it was hers).
Understand that there is a type of people who enjoy standing in front of the metro’s holy doors, even when they’re not planning on getting off, so don’t assume they are going to, and don’t blame them, they are indifferent to your suffering. Because you know, it’s pure logic to stand in the wrong place, at the wrong time.
There are actually very friendly people who apologize and act like normal human beings, if you find them, stick with them till the end of your trip; they will definitely make it better.
Pro tip: When you are waiting on the platform for the metro, don’t let that mother with children get in front of you, because if that happens, you’re not getting on and you’ll probably be waiting for the next train.
Finally just be nice, even if that’s not the norm. Helpful people are always appreciated, so watch out for the kids, help a pregnant lady find a place to sit, control your temper and laugh it off. At the end of the day, you’ll get out anyhow, just hope you get out in one piece!

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