My 10-year old travels by himself on the subway to school each morning along with many other 10+ year olds. I usually walk him to the station each morning to see him off.
At first, I worried that he and the other children would be confused and nervous traveling on the subway alone. But on days like today, when I look around, the children seem to be fitting in just fine. This morning I saw one kid, with his cup of coffee, dashing up the stairs to the platform. Another one of my son’s 10-year old friends was reading the newspaper.
Now I don’t worry about the kids being confused or nervous anymore, I just worry about them turning into little rushed adults. I fully expect to start seeing them with briefcases and talking into phone headsets, “Bill, we’ve gotta move the red stone in Minecraft. I’ll meet you by the swings at 2:30.”
Today I learned about “Snälltåget,” or “The Nice Train” in English.
I think it’s been around for a while, but I only happened to notice it because of a coupon offer to travel on it between some Swedish towns. Apparently it’s an older model train where you have little lamps at your table and they serve you food on porcelin plates. I like this idea, though I wonder if my conductor wears a suit and a funny mustache. Otherwise, it’s not so authentic.
The best thing about the ad for the Nice Train is that they specifically say that it’s better than the “dumtåget” (Stupid Train) as that one ‘jostles along in commuter traffic.’
So basically, this ad isn’t getting me on the porcelin plates, but on the fact that if I choose another train, I’m riding “The Stupid Train.” Plus, I assume the Stupid Train has plastic plates and everyone rides in darkness. I hope they also write “Dumtåget” on the side of the train like they write “Snälltåget” on the side of the Nice Ones.
I was reading an article in the paper earlier this week about activities on the subway. Five people were polled regarding what they like to do while riding the subway. All five answered “Sleep.”
Is that really what they like to do, or what happens? I started a job last month which is 30 minutes by subway to my house. Not one day has passed that I have made it home awake. I simply can’t do it. I’m fairly sure they are pumping something into the air supply of these trains. Am I the only one blacking out every day? What if it’s a conspiracy and everyone on the train falls asleep at the same time?! What are they doing to us in there?! Someone must find out what is happening!
Or, maybe I should grab a cup of coffee each day before I leave.