Though I love going to NYC for my weekly or so client meetings, and feeling pangs for my old post-college life in Murray Hill, this week the trip was not such a joy. Like all things, the honeymoon eventually ends and fatigue overcomes optimism. The ticket machine would only take cash. In 2013, who has cash in their wallet? I shoved my one and only $20 into the slot to pay the ridiculous $12.50 one way fare. The machine spit out a hundred coins in return, which promptly exploded from the slot and landed in various locations around my feet and those of the 3 angry people waiting in line behind me. Too embarrassed to collect all one hundred small coins, i scrapped up what I could (chipping a nail on the cement as I raked them into my freezing cold hand) and hobbled off to the platform.
Ill spare the details of the day (which involved waiting for 20 minutes on the incorrect subway platform for a train that never came, tripping on a sidewalk in Brooklyn in front of several lawyers on their way to Federal Court, and missing the direct train home). In my haste to catch the long, connecting train I was left with as my only option, I failed to remember I had only bought a one way ticket from the machine earlier in the day, and realized I had no ticket in Jamaica. The conductor was humorless and angry, and nearly gave me a paper cut on my chin as he ripped a bill from his fanny pouch and tossed it at me with snippy instructions to pay at a window in Penn Station. And people wonder why NYC residents are so jaded.