This post was inspired by Hetal Sonpal’s crazy post. You could call this the Metrorail edition in the crazy post category. 

  1. One of the tendencies I have always had is not having enough cash with me. Thanks to the age where I could use a debit/credit card to make purchases, I often times carried as little as $2 with me. One day, when I was taking the metro back from The University of Maryland back home, after I had entered the metro, I realized that my fare card did not have enough money required for my trip, I was ten cents short. Here is the embarrassing part – I did not have any money at all with me, all I had was a large number of 1 cent coins. Those were the days where the metro station did not take cards, I needed to pay with cash or coins. And 1 cent coins were not accepted. I saw the station manager engaged in conversation with a lady. “Excuse me sir”, I ventured, “this is really embarrassing, but I am ten cents short of my fare. If I give you ten pennies, could you give me a dime?” Apparently he thought that I was asking him for ten cents without offering the pennies as I did, so he gave me a hard time, asking me why I wasn’t careful before boarding. At some stage, the lady took pity and traded my ten pennies for a dime (the station manager was a bit embarrassed at his misunderstanding), and I went home without further ado.
  2. I once dropped my fare card in the train tracks. The card had about $15. I sought out the station manager to see if there was some way he could help me out, if he could possibly generate another card with this amount. (Today, farecards have been phased out and a smart card called ‘Smartrip’ needs to be purchased. If we go online and register the Smartrip, the station manager can indeed replace my Smartrip). On that day, he didn’t quite understand what I was asking, and exasperatedly remarked “Do you expect me to go down the train tracks and retrieve your card for you? I’m certainly not going to do that!” I calmed him down, and ascertained that there was nothing that could be done. My friends had a good laugh that day, about my dropping the card, as well as the station manager’s response.
  3. On occasion, I would take a short nap in the metro. I would invariably wake up with all the noise, and would go to college refreshed with my cat nap. On one occasion, when I woke up, I found myself in the last station! I had slept past my destination and gone to the last stop! (Thankfully, my college was just one stop away, so I didn’t lose a whole lot of time). The same train continued the other direction, so the damage was mitigated, and I attended class 15 minutes or so late.
  4. Speaking of oversleeping – Everyone dreaded 8am classes. College kids in general preferred to sleep late and wake up late. I had signed up for a math class at 8 am. I needed to step out of my house the latest by 6:30 am, to catch the bus and take the train to go to college. That day, I had a math midterm, which counted for a good chunk of my grade. I was well-prepared. When I woke up, I saw that the time was 6:45 am! Oops. I dressed up as soon as I could, collected my things and dashed out of the house and ran to the bus stop. When the bus reached the metro station, I was the first to get down, and ran to take the metro (today, there is an app which will tell you when the metro will be arriving at a station, which makes it possible to plan my ‘run’s). The metro was about to close – I sneaked in by a whisker. (Back in the days, there was a protective mechanism that would not close if it detected the presence of someone or some object. Today, that is not there, and such a dash would be dangerous. Not that my dash that day did not count as dangerous). Once I got down the metro station, I ran to catch the shuttle, and reached my class by 7:59 am! The story had a happy ending – I aced my exam!

Image Criedit: Timothy Dykes from Unsplash

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Prahalad Rajkumar

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