Quando New York ti fa venire nostalgia di Londra

Racconta Bim Adewunmi sul Guardian che la sua avventura con la metropolitana di New York non è stata proprio come se l’era immaginata:

Instead, I have found myself spiralling into hysteria, driven slowly mad by the New York subway. On first appearance, it is like the London underground – trains, tickets, announcements, the crush of bodies. But then, slowly, the entire system reveals itself to you. It is the work of a sadist, cooked up in a fever dream and delivered with a flourish and an unhinged grin. I cannot believe I am about to type these words, but here we are: New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority has made me homesick for Transport for London.

Descrivendo se stessa come una ragazza di citta, cresciuta tra due grandi metropoli (Londra e Lagos) e in grado di decifrare in pochi minuti complesse mappe dei trasporti metropolitani, una volta arrivata a New York si è sentita come una «babbea terrorizzata». E ha trovato molte differenze tra la metropolitana di New York e quella di Londra (già di suo una tra le più complesse):

Where in London the Central line (red) is distinct from the Piccadilly (dark blue), which is markedly different from the Hammersmith and City line (pink), New York’s map has designated the same forest green to the 4, the 5 and the 6 lines. The B, D, F and M all rejoice in exactly the same shade of violent orange. And I’m almost entirely certain that the blue of the A, C, and E lines is the last thing you see before death’s sweet embrace. Why would you do this? The whole thing resembles a child’s approximation of a city transit system: it makes no sense.

Ad aggiungere difficoltà ai non newyorkesi, Adewunmi lamenta che sui treni le mappe delle linee non sono posizionate in posti comodissimi:

If you’re lucky, there will be a single, tiny map of the subway, placed at the eye level of a small child, behind a seat that is more often than not occupied by a passenger who must then lean forward and twist their neck to the side to give you access.
If you’re taking too long – because this is a patently ridiculous system and your British brain is short-circuiting at having to work out where the hell the metal contraption you are trapped in is headed – the person sighs, grunts and returns to their original seating position and eyeballs you as if to say: “I gave you a chance. You wasted it.

Alla fine rimane solo una magra consolazione: viaggiare sulla metropolitana a New York costa molto meno che a Londra:

At least it’s cheap,” I say to myself as I rock in the foetal position. “At least it’s cheap.”

(La foto è la controversa mappa della metropolitana di New York disegnata da Massimo Vignelli, tra i più celebri designer italiani, recentemente scomparso).

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