Imagine waking up before your alarm, getting ready, and leaving 5 minutes before the designated up and at’em time. You’ve got a spring in your step, you can stop for coffee before getting into work, and your boss won’t have any additional reasons to yell at you today.
Imagine, then, that you miss your first train by 10 seconds. This train comes every 5 minutes, so maybe you’ll make it right on time…
The train doesn’t come for 25 minutes. After boarding the train, you hear the conductor announce that the train is now “express” and will be skipping your stop and going about 5 stops ahead of your transfer.
You finally make it back to your first transfer when you are met with a similar fate: another 10 minutes of waiting for any sign of life (other than rats) on the tracks. The train shows up, and it is full beyond capacity, and to your chagrin, no one emerges! You have to wait for the next train…
Another 12 minutes pass and you can finally board the train to the next transfer, where you will be held at every turn for “train traffic.” How can there be “train traffic” if you are stopping for an extra 3 minutes at every station?
This is the harsh reality almost every day for millions of New Yorkers. Imagine, then, how polite you’d be if in addition to being super late for wherever you’re headed, a tourist decides to stop in front of you in the middle of the sidewalk to take a picture of a building that will be there in 5 minutes once you’ve passed. This is the plight of the New Yorker. I’m sure in the early days of NYC people were sweeter and more hospitable, but over time they could no longer fake their amusement at your incessant need to pull out a map or stop to talk to the characters in Times Square.
So the next time you think, “God these New Yorkers are so rude!” —Have a little empathy.
Akilah is a 23-year old hot mess studying improv at UCB. She’s sometimes a Barack Obama Tribute Band and other times a blogger at Its Akilah, Obviously , vlogger at Smoothiefreak , and @kiwirabbitfru on Twitter!