NYU Shanghai / Shanghai

Metro Snapshots

In a large city like Shanghai, every day you can see something new and interesting. Here are some notable characters:

1. Once I saw a man standing in the corner by the subway door wearing shorts and long black socks, which would have been quite normal save for the public transportation card sticking out of one sock.

2. A young woman considerately ran out of the subway car to dispose of her trash before running back in before the doors closed. She seemed both pleased at having made it back in time and slightly embarrassed at having been so brash.

3. After weeks of repairs, the escalator at the second exit of the Jing’An Subway station was fixed. But passengers were still forced to use the stairs because the janitor was moving large pink bags of garbage up to the sidewalk via the escalator. Another janitor kindly told the er hu musician at the top to change his location.

4. Teamwork: An older woman boarded the back of a bus and handed her transportation card and senior citizen id card to the person in front of her, who passed it down to some other people. The one closest to the fare collector swiped the card for her, and the cards quickly made their way back to the first woman.

5. Just as I sat down in a subway seat, an older woman sat down on the other half. Since two people can’t share a shaped plastic seat, I got up. One stop before my station, someone tugged hard at my bag from behind me. A thief? No, an elderly man with a thick sugar cane stick was showing me the row of empty seats by him.

To every society there are two sides of the coin.

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