Boston's T vs. Roma's Linea B

Almost a month I would have been living and working in la bella Roma if it were 2011.  Instead, it's 2012, I'm graduated, working in a file room, archiving studies and reports for a Pharmaceutical company.  It would be unfair for me to complain about having a July 2nd start date at a great company not even a month after my graduation date.  I'd say I'm one of the lucky ones to have found a job so quickly, but even so I'm longing to smell that particular fresh Italian air, fill my ears with roman dialect, stop at my local bar to grab a cornetto and cappuccino for 1.60 euro and be on my way to a day filled with espresso breaks. How I miss that hourly "Vuoi un caffe??"


What I've noticed over the first 2 weeks of commuting into Central Square is that the atmosphere of the T is very different than that of Rome's Metro Linea B. I arrive at Porter Square during the regular morning rush, roughly around the same time I was off to work in Rome. What's strange to me on Boston's T is that people seemed to be concerned with having three inches of air space between themselves and the surrounding people. People don't seem like the care if they have to wait for the next train, there seems to be no need to try and insert yourself into a train that appears full, but clearly could fit at least 10-20 more people if people gave up their 3-inch air cushion. Seems crazy, right?


I have to admit that I used to be hesitant before about getting on what seemed to be a full train. My first day experiencing the Bologna stop, an already full train arrived, 2 or 3 people exiting, upwards of ten ready to enter each door. I thought it silly to try and fit in the train, so I took a few steps back, and as the train sped off I noticed that I was the only person who did not get on the arriving train.  The next train arriving ten minutes later, making me late for my first day seemed just as full as the one before, again, tentively I walked up to the door, assessing the situation and thinking it impossible to fit on that one as well.  Again, I watched the doors close infront of me and again I was the only one who didn't make it on the train, stranded on the platform.  At this point, when train 3 came, no matter how full it was going to be, I decided I would shove my tiny 5 foot frame in the doors and show no mercy.  Train 3 arrived just as full, so I got up close and personal with the people surrounding me and shoved myself into the train as the doors closed against my back. I felt silly that I didn't try to insert myself into the already full train the first time and from that day on I always got on the first train that came because I knew somehow there was always more room. It'd be foolish not to try!


So now riding the T I sit there getting away with my extra air cushion, smirking at those on the platform because they did not even try to squeeze in. I'd gladly give up my personal space if someone hinted towards needing it, but since packed trains seem to frighten Boston, I can't complain about not being smushed into someone else's sweating back! It's really just entertaining to see how afraid bostonians are to touch each other. I miss the crowded train ride from Bologna and those aggressive Italians, even if I did have to uncomfortably close to a few along my daily journeys.

Enough said. I'm ready to go back. Presto per favore :)

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