Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Escalators And Moving Walkways

My friends! It's not for standing!
One thing that used to drive me absolutely batshit in Turkey was people's complete failure at being able to use escalators and moving walkways properly. To me, the point of both of these amazing mechanisms is to be able to get where you want to go, only faster. To acomplish this, you walk as the thing is taking you up or down or across or whatever.

But a lot of Turkish people seem to think these marvels of the 20th century are just really fun rides. So they get on them and stand there, then oooff at you if you want to pass by.

I say that it used to drive me batshit not because it doesn't drive me batshit anymore, but because overall, in Istanbul at least, people have gotten a lot better about using moving walkways and escalators to get where they want to go, only faster. Okay, in malls they still kind of suck (and don't even get me started on mall elevators or any other elevators because those still completely fuck me and I hate them), but in places where people tend to want to hustle, like metro stations and airports, the standers know enough to move to one side so the walkers can walk, and people rarely oooff at you. Unless they're busy socializing on there, in which case you're shit out of luck.

Madam! It's not that difficult!
And it hardly ever happens anymore that you almost die because of some stupid woman at the top or bottom of the escalotor freaking out about how to get off the thing. This used to happen a lot, where a woman would screech or a shopping cart or baby carriage would tip over, then everyone behind would calmly walk up or down backwards until 18 or 20 family members and bystanders calmed the poor panicked woman and got her to the safe part of the world where the floor doesn't move, thus clearing the blockage at the exit point.

But this used to happen a lot, especially in Bakırköy, where crazy 1920's World's Fair technologies were just some kind of insane fad to many mall gawkers.

Bloody useful.
LE, for his part, is super well-trained on escalators and moving walkways. Since I don't drive and the stroller was a tremendous inconvenience (except for carrying groceries-- then it rocked), the boy has been walking rather long distances for a child since he was about 2. He can usually go a couple of hours without seriously bitching. Not to say he doesn't bitch because he most certainly does, but much of the bitching is a matter of form rather than an actual problem. His gorgeous perfect little legs are like steel flagpoles, and it really fucking hurts when he kicks me in the face.
Please, sir! Not in the face!

 That's my own fault, for teaching him about Bruce Lee, who always eats his vegetables and never bitches.

Still, whether it's because he's almost 5 or because he's Turkish, he's suddenly become fascinated with standing on escalators and moving walkways. Maybe it's because everyone else is doing it. Or maybe it's because he's a kid and it really is a super fun ride.

I remember thinking they were a super fun ride, back in the day when the only moving walkways I ever got to ride were in Las Vegas airport, where we used to go to visit my grandparents.

And yes, I totally showed him how cool it is to walk backwards on the moving walkway. I'm sure that'll bite me in the ass someday, but it was fucking fun so who cares?

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