Nov 14, 2008

I blame the Metro...

I've been a coughing, sneezing, congested fury of mucus for over a week and I know the culprit who plagued me. It was the moving underground tin den of disease that carries the denizens of Madrid. The Metro. It's full of sweaty, stinky bodies who see fit to sneeze, wheeze and cough spittle on their cringing fellow commuters. As English Teachers rushing about town from company to company, we spend a average of 2 to 4 hours daily riding these incubators of maladies. And some diseased travellers like to leave fresh deposits for the unsuspecting masses. M told me the other day of a large bloodied hork someone left on a seat on the dark blue line. In a show of camaraderie, M notified those who bee-lined for the free seat and in turn, those who were warned about the tri-coloured phlegm warned others. But not everyone was willing to listen. One young man shrugged off all warnings of no and mira and sat down heavily in the bloodied mucus. How he will later make the discovery and rue his dismissal of the kindly warnings, I can only speculate. But I'll bet the experience will stay with him..

On another Metro related note.. I'm getting really tired of being the target of Romanian gypsies on the take in the crowded Metro. Yesterday was incident number 3. The first time, two women followed me down the hill into Atocha station pretending to be lost but really unzipping my bag. Fortunately they got nothing from me. Second time, a little gypsy girl got her nimble fingers into my jacket pocket on a sardine packed Metro and made off with my wallet. Yesterday, a couple of guys tried their luck on yet another crowded carriage. I got on with my backpack in front of me. I noticed the dudes getting cozy with me. One of them had his jacket draped over his arm - a sure sign of a thief. Although there was hardly room to move, I immediately put my bag between my legs. They tried talking to me, pointing at my book (a Homage to Catalonia by Orwell) and asking me if I was from India. I pointed at my book and told him this is English and I am Canadian. They got off at the next stop. When I got off at Lavapiés, I noticed that the front zipper of my bag had been unzipped. I don't put anything in the front but pens and pads so they got nothing but I was still very annoyed. I was sharp enough to move my bag but not fast enough to avoid an unzipping. Damn those thieving scumbags. Damn them!


BarcelonaMan said...

Good grief!

THANKFULLY, I don't take the metro everyday. In fact, I try not to take the metro except during off-hours mostly because I never have to get anywhere that early in the morning. I have, however, had to pack-in one a few afternoon occasions. Regardless, it's not particularly pleasant when you anxiously see the metro train coming only to see bodies smashed up against the glass inside and realize you're not likely to get on this one.

I totally believe you got sick due to some carrier near you. This has happened to me more than once. The last time was on the public bus. Two girls were chatting away directly behind me when one of them sneezed right to the back of my head. I even felt my hair move! No doubt the bacteria-filled cloud wrapped itself around my face too because I had a storming cold within 2 days and it lasted for 2 weeks.

Plus, YOU MUST ALWAYS WASH YOUR HANDS AFTER USING PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION!!! So many times I've seen people sneeze or cough into their hands and then place that same hand on the metro or bus bars. Other times, as you've described, they don't sneeze into their hands at all but just let-it-fly-where-it-may.

Hope you feel better soon.


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Shehani said...

Hey, Barcelonaman, thanks for stopping by and sharing your story! It's never a good day when some stranger sneezes on your head! eeww! And thanks for the tip daddy: I do make it a habit of washing the city transport off my hands when i get home :)

I'm still coughing though less than I was last week.. my health will return!

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