Mind the Gap
NEW YORK is the first really big city I have visited since moving to London. So it came as quite a surprise to me that, whereas Boston, San Francisco and Trivandrum seemed quite alien, New York felt much more like home. And I knew what the New York subway was like, because I've seen lots of tv shows and films with scenes in the subway. Dirty, dangerous and run down, and that was just the passengers. So I was quite surprised to discover that it was clean, cheap and efficient, with a week's go-anywhere ticket costing less than I spend for three trips to London.
But nevertheless, the subway had the knack of reminding me of home. A voice came over the tannoy. "Please stand clear of the closing doors. There is another train right behind this one." Exactly the same words as in London, where the phrase "there is another train right behind this one" normally means "We are about to attempt to break the all-time record for longest interval between rush hour trains on the Victoria Line".
Tube trains have turned up on rec.arts.sf.fandom recently, as well. Complaints about the whimsicality and chaos nature of the subway led Avram Grumer to discover his inner poet.
Attention all passengers
The delay we are experiencing
is not the eternal delay.
The red signal ahead
is not the eternal red signal.
The train just behind this one is the eternally real.
The doors you are holding open have their origin in this particular train.
Free from the closing doors, you realize the mystery.
Caught in the closing doors, you see only the manifestations.
Yet mystery and manifestations
arise from the same source:
A train going out of service at DeKalb.
Darkness within darkness.
The gateway to all understanding.
Please use all available doors.
--Alison Scott & Avram Grumer