05 décembre 2005

A Christmas story

Horrible things have been uttered about the metro and the bus on this here site. Forgive me, reader, for I obviously knew not what I was saying.
This evening, my daily metro ride home was made much, much longer by a technical incident about which we were not given any details - but I can feel a rant coming on when I really don't want to sound anything but grateful, and filled with awe.
After all, it only took the driver four or five unexplained 5-minute stops to tell us that indeed some breakdown had occurred further down the line; sometimes they don't even bother to explain, so I should be grateful for that.
Plus that was her cue for a woman to start rambling on an on. and on. and then some, about the unreliability of metro lines in Paris, which I thought was very entertaining of her, especially as she managed to speak over my music, so I could hear her fine. Again, I thought it rather unusual, albeit in a thoughtful way, of RATP (the Paris metro authority), to provide their passengers with some quality
distraction while we were stuck in there. Kept the annoyance degree to a minimum, if you ask me.
But wait, there's more! There's better! In keeping with the Christmas spirit that has been washing over all of us lately, they announced at one point that the train would not go any further, but that the next one was right behind us. Now you think I'm being sarcastic mentioning the Christmas spirit. Well, no I'm not. And here's why. We all stepped out onto the platform, while the rambling woman kept up her routine, and boy was she hilarious. I'm still smiling now just thinking of her. We waited for the next metro with her act on in the very very near background. My jaws hurt I'm smiling so much. And then the metro arrived.
And that's where the real Christmas miracle happened. It was full, you see. RATP had actually thought of all us lonely people, who hardly manage to stand upright during December, burdened as we are by bitterness, and reckoned some human warmth would be a comfort. Good thinking, I say, especially in winter. Now, if you think that's the miracle, think again. That's only part of it. The real thing is this:
you think not one more person is going to fit in that tiny, cramped, and full to the brim space that is the metro car? That's forgetting about the miracle of rush-hour Christmas, buddy!
RATP have made h
uman bodies infinitely compressible. Is that a miracle, or what?