Metro Culture Shock


You should be looking at a cool, panoramic picture of the inside of a sparsely-populated DC metro car right now.  But you’re not.  You’re not because I got served.  I got served on the metro tonight like I’ve never been served before.

I had a great dinner out and was just cruising home the final three metro stops to my hotel.  There was nothing going on, only a handfull of people were on the metro and I got on a peculiar car with no handicapped seats that left an awesome, panoramic view of the car that looked like the perfect headline photo for some post on culture shock, public transport, or orange astro-turf.  It was not to be, friends.  Not to be.

As I raised my phone to make it happen, I rethought my move and double checked that the <<ka-ching>> photo sound was turned off.  Good news, it was.  The bad news followed.  Upon seeing that my settings were correct, I looked up and saw a towering 5’3″ American woman in her 50’s shouting something at me.  I didn’t hear her.  My headphones were on.  I just saw her gesticulating.  Much of the gesticulation involved a pointed finger.  I pulled one of the noise-cancelling earbuds out of my ear and heard her shout, “Did you just take a picture of me?”  Wha?  “Did you just take a picture of me?”

In shock, stupefied, but not yet guilty, I said, “No, no.  I haven’t.”  I think my verb tense threw her off.  She dropped her finger and sat down – facing the other way.  Suddenly, the car seemed full of people.  Some were snickering and some were scowling.  They all knew I got served.  Geez.

I could turn this post into something analyzing the post 9/11 right to privacy, but I won’t.  Fact is, I don’t blame the lady too much.  I just saw a cool picture and wanted to save it.  Heck, 75% of the reason I wanted it was because there were so few people in it.  But, I guess it was her right.  Is there a law against it these days?  How should I know?

Hell, I’m just a tourist here.  These days, it seems I’m just a tourist everywhere.

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One Comment Add yours

  1. Scampwaler says:

    You should have informed her that she was presently being photographed by at least two cameras while she was yelling at you. A recent report found that Washington, D.C. is the second-most surveilled town in the country — behind Vegas. We lost our right to privacy long ago, and it’s only going to get worse.

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