Classism on the Metro?
As a New York transplant living in Dubai, I’m struggling with the whole “Gold Class” concept on the Metro. Yeah I’m curious about the luxuries it will offer (wide leather seats with panoramic views sounds cool), but my conscience is gnawing at me. In my years commuting via subway from my apartment in Tribeca to work in Mid-town Manhattan, I had my fair share of freaky incidents (oh yes, crazies flashing private parts, homeless woman defecating ON the train). Those experiences definitely made me think twice about riding the Uptown N train, but in the end, I stuck with it….day in and day out. It was reliable, practical and often times entertaining and eye opening. (Heck if it's good enough for Mayor Bloomberg, one of the wealthiest men in the world, why should I turn my nose up to it?)
We all know that life in Dubai is anything but equal. Those who can afford the privileges live in a bubble of fast cars and fancy restaurants. That bubble floats high above the men who break their backs building the shiny towers we live, work and play in. But every now and then we all need to come back down to reality. I can't help but wonder why we are so averse to stand or sit shoulder to shoulder with those very people who laid down the rails we are riding on. Yeah I can afford the Gold Class, but I’m also a little disappointed in myself for considering it. A core function of mass transit in most urban environments is to act as an equalizer. It reminds us that we all have the same end goal…. to get somewhere as quickly as possible. Blue, white, gray or pink collars, we all have jobs to go to. Can't we sit together for a little while? And frankly, are those VIPs who would ride Gold Class really going to give up the comfort of their Cayenne’s anytime soon? Don’t know how often I will use the Metro yet, but I certainly will try to keep it real and skip the Gold section. And thankfully in this part of the world, those NYC oddball incidents would NEVER be tolerated.