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12 Times Your NYC Subway Commute Literally Makes You Want To Die

In theory, there's something pretty great about being able to go anywhere in the city for $2.50. It's fair, it's non-elitist, and yet it's completely and utterly torturous.

It's hell in the winter, it's hell in the summer, and I suspect fall and spring are no better.

But while I'm not adverse to the occasional (aka highly frequent) cab, a taxi from uptown to downtown and back every day isn't an option.

So, I may suck it up and take the subway, but you can bet I'm thinking about how much it sucks as I do so.

The people are the worst.

I'm sorry, but it can't just be me who thinks this. The people I see in Central Park, in restaurants and in shops are not this disgusting. The subway seems to be a melting pot of the very grossest people who don't deem showering, or basic personal hygiene, essential.

Why is there always someone doing their eyebrows or eating? Bathrooms and kitchens, people, bathrooms and kitchens.


The lack of personal space.

Being wedged under an armpit, while a short, fat man stands on your toes and a child breathes on you is just part of the daily commuting fun. There's something so inhumane and un-American about being forced to share 3 feet of air with nine people.


The germs.

When I'm on the subway, all I can think about is the various illnesses I'm probably contracting. Is tuberculosis still a thing? Because I think a homeless man gave it to me the other day.

You want to use a tissue to hold the railing, but you also don't want to be that person. So it's all about copious amounts of hand sanitizer, and hoping the people with norovirus were too sick to go to work that day.


The temperature problems.

The sartorial decisions this calls for are so challenging. Boiling, sweating, schvitzing and dying on the platform. Freezing, shivering, frost-bitten and teeth-chattering on the subway itself. I am quite sure this is an easy problem to rectify, so why hasn't anyone? Ugh, MTA.


The lack of information.

I have such hatred for the stations with no signs or people announcing when the next subway is coming. It's the most bizarre form of torture, like, akin to maybe waterboarding, to be so helpless.

How is a person meant to know if the subway is coming in one minute or 11? Maybe you'd be better off walking, but you're not privy to that crucial information. Again, ugh, MTA.


The lack of manners.

Because the subway is the worst part of everyone's day, people clearly only care about themselves. Everyone's in a self-important rush, and letting people off before getting on and offering up seats are little niceties that are easily forgotten.

The subway literally brings out the worst in humanity. Although the more you take the subway, the more you see how easy it is to scream at a child.


Kids selling candy.

On that note, I have definitely screamed at a child because, no, I don't want your M&M's or a Snickers bar. Nor do I believe you're selling this for a basketball team, and nor do I believe you purchased these bulk boxes of candy legally.

Also, why aren't you in school? And if I come to terms with the fact that you are probably breaking the law in some way, and promise not to tell, will you leave me the hell alone?


The doors.

When the doors open and close, and then open and close again, and do the same thing twice more before the train finally pulls out the station, I can't be the only person screaming in my head. New York is a busy place.

We all have places to go, people to see. So who's the idiot who lets his bag block the door three times? It's not rocket science; just keep your personal belongings close by, so we can all get on with our day a little quicker.


Stupid people.

While this isn't mathematically proven, I'm sure most people who are on the subway at 8 am on a Monday have, in fact, taken the subway before. So, they know that it lurches suddenly at stations and weaves left and right.

They also know that the way to avoid falling over is to hold on to railings and poles. That's why the rails and poles are there, IDIOTS. There may even be signs telling you to hold on, IDIOTS.

But there's always the stupid person who seems to think he can stand stock-still by willpower alone. He then lurches, trips, falls onto me, chips my pedicure and seems genuinely surprised that this happened.


The ads.

Anyone who actually calls the doctors from the ads in the subway is, literally, dumb. If you believe in a “doctor” whose photo you see on the 1-2-3, and buy into his promises of a magic chemical peel leaving you looking 10 years younger, you fully deserve whatever weird skin rash you're going to get.

Also, has anyone seen the ad for a divorce lawyer on the subway? My cousin actually Instagrammed it because it was THAT ridiculous: “1-800-DIVORCE. When diamonds aren't forever.” I MEAN.


The smells.

When we're all 97 years old, I think we'll still be able to recall that special subway smell, unique only to New York on a hot, painfully humid day. It's that intoxicating mixture of urine and, occasionally, feces, if you're really unlucky.

Combined with garbage, sweat, feet and weird foods. If only we could bottle it…


Weekend subways.

Just, no. I can't.

Photo credit: Getty Images

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Charlotte Phillips

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Charlotte Phillips is a Lifestyle writer at Elite Daily, the leading site speaking to millennials across the globe. She joined Elite Daily in June 2014, fresh out of Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. At Elite Daily, Charlotte f ...
Charlotte Phillips is a Lifestyle writer at Elite Daily, the leading site speaking to millennials across the globe. She joined Elite Daily in June 2014, fresh out of Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. At Elite Daily, Charlotte f ...

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