Ukončete, prosím …

Here’s something you may not know about me:

You can slice it anyway you like, I’m not ashamed to come clean. Yessir, I will unabashedly admit to anyone on this earth that I love subways. I am into undergrounds, and I’m quite fond of metros. While they’re not the most mind-blowing, nor do they have the longest escalators I’ve ever ridden (St. Petersburg takes both of those esteemed titles) the Prague metro is something wonderful.

Perhaps I just have a special place in my heart for the tunnels I depend on daily to quickly whisk me around to all corners of the city to teach-a the English. Maybe growing up in town that had no underground system gives me an unnecessary affection for what Teddy Stevens would call A SERIES OF TUBES! Either way, it’s a  sweet ride. And that’s in spite of the long escalator trips to the top.

Oh yes, they are some long lulls from train-to-surface.

One of those long rides to the top is at Náměstí Míru. With a crawling 87 metre escalator – one of the longest rides in Europe, no less – you’re left with a good three minutes of free time each ride. What’s worse, this is where the HQ of my school is located,  so it provides me with a lot of downtown to either fritter away or use to my advantage.

What’s a kid to do with so much extra time?

As part of my court mandated community service, I’ve decided to share with Prague commuters some of the tricks I’ve accumulated for maximizing these escalator rides more effectively:

1. Think about what you need to pick up for dinner that night.

2. Read

3. Juggle

4.Read about Juggalos. (Do not consider this a repeat of #1. It’s a little known fact that reading about Juggalos doesn’t actually qualify as reading)

5. Listen to Slayer and head bang / metal face / air guitar every single note. Stop immediately upon reaching the top of the escalator. Put away your air-axe and casually walk off like it’s nothing.

6. Pretend to be interested in that advertisement over there, and check out the beauty coming down on the opposite track. I’ve calculated that on any given metro escalator in Prague between the hours of 8 am and 6 pm, you will see at least three 9s.

7. See how many freestyle raps you can come up with. These few minutes of solitude provide you with an ample opportunity, infinite chances, to rhyme. Or, at the very least, more than enough time to figure out how to work GZA lines into your stupid lists.

Bonus points for any bi-lingual bars.

8. Give people on the opposing escalator the old: “I’m watching you” point to your eyes and then at them. Follow up with the dual crazy eyes and creepy stare for as long as possible. Even if they shout threats or insults your way, it’ll be in Czech so you probably won’t understand it. Your self-esteem will thank you.

9. Hop into the forbidden no-man’s land that is the middle escalator – that one that was built for high-traffic situations, but never gets used – and see how long it takes security to notice and come after you. So far my average is about two and a half minutes. They’re eerily effective down there.

The beauty of this one is, no matter which direction they come from, you have an easy escape route either up-or-down. Unless they come from both directions … Then they’ll almost definitely get you … and void your metro card. And throw you into transit jail for a few hours until the real cops come.

10. Think about how nice it is that you know a guy who sells counterfeit metro cards on the cheap. And a good bail bondsmen that speaks English.

Bonus: People watch, and try to find the Czech equivalent of famous celebrities. Why just last week I found the Czech Bill Murray.

Not pictured: the Czech Bill Murray

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