Monday, October 14, 2019

Incredible Train Journeys- A Scary Metro Ride in New York Metro

It was a cold January evening as I strolled in the Queens district of New York. It was my first trip abroad and I had spent almost four weeks at Long Island where I was undergoing training.

The crowds were thinning as the night fell. I had packages of items just purchased, tucked under my arms when I stepped out of the store. My shoes slipped in the fresh snow as I made my way towards the Queen's metro station. A recent light shower made walking difficult, due to a load of packages. A cold wind blew and swayed the trees making a rustling noise. I reached the station and purchased the ticket to the Grand  Penn station. I was to spend the evening at a friend's place in New York City.

The train arrived and I boarded it quickly. There were just two or three passengers in the compartment. At the next station, Hollis, two of them got down and two tall dark men entered the coach. They were drunk, and I could make out that these guys were not good! They looked like muggers about whom I had heard. They both wore overcoats which one of them unbuttoned. They were probably armed and one stupid move from my end could spell disaster! One of them who had curly hair and big white teeth looked at me and asked... 'where are you from? ' as they both occupied the seats facing mine. I  pretended, that I did not understand what they said. I could feel my hair raise as he spoke in the cold tone which was intimidating. He got a little impatient while his colleague hurled a few waves of abuse. My throat went dry, as I tried to speak. I made sign gestures by waving my hand and nodding my head that I did not understand them. A shroud of darkness and a few distant twinkling lights, which I could see, from the window, were not very comforting. I wished that the train had more crowd as a Mumbai local! I  prayed silently for the ordeal to end, as the train entered Jamaica station and to my good luck, a few more passengers got into the compartment. It was such a relief to find a company!

The two men realized the futility of talking further and I lowered my eyes to avoid eye contact with them. Every passing moment was like ages. In ten more minutes, the train entered the Grand Central( Penn) station. I quickly disembarked and got lost in the crowd. I had never felt more insecure during my visit and thanked God that I came out unharmed.

PS: 1. There were several times I travelled on the New York metro whilst my stay at Long Island and have some lovely memories of the hospitability of the MTA, Metro service in New York City. This includes one when the metro ferried us on a bus to the next station due to a train disruption due to a minor accident on the track one day
2. Will continue with the series of train journeys that are memorable
3. Pictures Kind courtesy Google

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