This morning I told my job I was leaving. Not great timing as I just won sale of the week last week and they were talking about keeping me on full time after Christmas.
Baldo and I are now cooking some dinner, so here’s a story from Liza to keep you entertained for today!
Hello, today I would like to talk to you all about the subway in Moscow as I have noticed a few differences compared to the one that we use every day in Toronto.
The entry to the subway is quite similar to the TTC network, apart from there are several ticket windows along the wall. This area is called the ‘Kacca,’ which in English means, ‘cash.’ This is where several women sit and sell tickets to the people who want to ride the subway. It is much cheaper to travel in Moscow, it is only $1 per trip.
After you have purchased the ticket, you can then go underground to wait for a train.
The escalators take you underground. At the bottom sits a lady who blows a whistle and shouts at the commuters telling them which side of the escalator they should stand, and which side they should walk in order to keep the flow of people moving. “Stay on the right side,” she shouts, whilst blowing a whistle to attract everyone’s attention. You would think that this would be very annoying, but for most of the time, this woman is actually asleep in her chair. She is even provided with monitors so that she can watch the people travelling on the escalator. In Toronto, this rule is not enforced and people stand wherever they like, causing people to miss their trains because they are held up by slow people.
Once you reach the platform, you are greeted by a wonderful sight. The concourse in between the two train tracks is like an art museum! The vaulted ceilings are held up by Roman-like columns and it is all decorated so beautifully with gold trim and mosaics. The ceiling even has chandeliers hanging down.
Here are some pictures of the beautiful stations I am talking about:
Unfortunately, you will probably only experience the real beauty of the subway from looking at pictures on google. This is because so many people use the subway every day, that there is barely any room to even breathe, never mind move. If you thought the TTC was bad in rush hour, take a look at this picture of Moscow subway!
Getting all these people on the subway can be quite a problem. Everyone is pushing to get on, trying to cram into every spare centimeter of space. The sleeping homeless people on the circular central line make it even more difficult to find a space. Because the trains never stop on this central circle, they just lie there and ride it all day. However, if you can’t get on a train, you don’t have very long to wait. At some stations a train comes as often as every 20 seconds!
Despite Toronto subway only having two main lines, tourists to the city still find it confusing. For instance, many stations have the same name, Eglington and Eglinton West, St Clair and St Clair West, Queen and Queen’s Park, Dundas and Dundas West, Don Mills, York Mills, Old Mill etc. In Moscow, we have 250 stations, all spelt in Russian, so if you are a tourist, you have absolutely no chance of remembering which station it is you have to travel to.
Here is a map of the Moscow Subway.
In conclusion, there are a lot of things that make the Moscow subway better than the TTC. But at the end of the day, I am glad that I can get a seat to sit on when I travel to school instead of having my face pressed into some Russian man’s armpit!