Selasa, 08 Desember 2009

Stories from the metro…

As you all know I love the metro. It seems so simple yet so effective (yes I know it obviously isn’t that simple but to my naïve eyes it just all seems to run so smoothly). I spend at least 1 and a half hours on the metro everyday just getting to school and back. From this have developed my new favourite hobby: people watching.

Now I don’t do this in a stalker-ish way. I just love looking at people and making up their life stories based on what I see. Some may call this judging. I call it observing. For examples on Sunday I was sat opposite an old woman who was completely covered in fur. Her hat, coat, scarf, gloves and even her boots were made of fur. Over the half an hour journey I saw her whole life (well my version of it at least). I decided that she was born into a rich family and so could afford fur coats, but then at some point her family had lost money and so now she had to take the metro with everyone else but she had still held onto her fur clothes so as not to completely lose her past. This could be the influence of Gossip Girl. But it’s a fun game… try it!

On the metro you see all walks of life. Moscow is a huge, vibrant city full of different kinds of people and everyday all those people use the metro. This means travelling on the metro makes you witness all kinds of events. Sometimes I see things that break my heart, and other times I see things that fill me with joy…

Recently a man was on my metro in a wheelchair. The Moscow metro is NOT wheelchair friendly. Too many steps and escalators and no ramps. This man had some friends with him who carried him up the stairs but he was obviously uncomfortable. People were staring and even pointing. It made me so angry. Then I started thinking about all those people who don’t have friends to help them through the metro and it made me so sad. There must be people all over Moscow stuck in their homes just because the main mode of transport in this city is not wheelchair friendly.

But through generations things like this could change. A few days ago I saw something that completely filled me with joy…

I saw a little boy pestering and pestering his mum. He obviously wanted something bad. I thought perhaps he wanted sweets or toys, he had the same look I gave (ok give!) my mum when we walk down the sweetie isle in Sainsburys! He was not giving up until he got what he wanted… so the pestering continued. When she realised he wasn’t going to stop she reached into her pocket and gave him 10 rubles (20p). I watched him carry it to a homeless woman who was begging. He gave it to her, smiled and ran back to his mum. All that pestering was because he had wanted to help someone who he realised needed something more than him.

We could all learn from this little boy. Unless WE pester those who appear wiser and more powerful than us then none of the injustices in the world will change. I will end with such a cliché of a quote, but that doesn’t make it any less true: Children are the future. That fills me with hope.

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