So today I took the train downtown and walked to the Cinerama. I took pictures of the neighbor’s crab apples and some murals on Rainier Avenue.
On the train I was thinking about the metro trains in Shanghai and Taipei, and how I always thought the English was weird. On Seattle’s light rail, the train announcer says “We are now entering Mount Baker Station, doors to my left.” When she says “my left” I imagine that it’s the train talking. There is a “ding dong” doorbell marimba sound that tells you the doors are closing.
In Shanghai that same announcement has a welcome, a safety announcement or two, and then in both Mandarin and English it says “get ready to exit/alight from the left side,” plus “we have arrived at X station.” When the doors close, there are a a few different warning sounds, they are all kind of alarming. Nobody holds the doors in Shanghai.
The announcement in the Taipei Metro is similar to the one in Shanghai, only it happens in Mandarin, Taiwanese, Hakka, and finally English. When the doors close, there is this crazy electronic bird chirp, which I thought at first was crazy scary. Later, when I got back from Shanghai, I found the chirping strangely comforting. The doors never closed on anyone, anyway.
In New York, I remember a cheerful recording “Stand clear of the closing doors, please!” and I remember thinking that the word “closing” was unnecessary. I also remember that people held the doors all the time.
One thing I noticed about both Taipei and Shanghai this time; the trains would come to a full stop, and there was a full 5-Mississipi seconds before the doors actually opened. I think this has cut down on people pushing toward the door as the train lurches to a stop. I used to hate that, because I’m tall and fat and would have fallen and crushed someone if I had let go to let some pushy Shanghainese lady past. I HATE it when people push me.
Anyway, I rode the train to downtown Seattle today, in the middle of the day, and as I always say, the best part of any train ride is the elevated part. I hope they build more elevated light rail in Seattle.
I went and saw the Dark Night Rises. Good flick. I always feel like I lived in Metropolis, rather than Gotham. I’m pretty fascinated by the kangaroo revolutionary courts that they portrayed; I’m not sure that New Yorkers would resort so quickly to that. Obviously it was what people imagined was the worst of the Occupy movement, but those guys always seemed pretty concerned with process.
I really love superhero movies, and I especially love the ones where New Yorkers turn out to be basically good.
Next week is my last full week of summer break. I hope it’s a long five days.
UPDATE: Ooh, I have links!
- Remember Dear Amber? Well, it turns out she’s a great writer. Read her blog!
- Here’s one man’s take on Mainland China, I happen to agree with him.
- Hey, I just met you, and this is crazy.