I'm guessing that one of the most boring jobs in the whole world would be to work as a metro escalator guard. The woman sits in this tiny cubicle with a television screen at the base of the escalators and observes the people going up or down the escalator.
I LOVE watching people on the escalator. When I am going in one direction, I spend a lot of time watching the people going in the other direction. Some days I'm sure I see thousands of people. They come in all shapes, sizes, ages, colors. They are either talking to each other, are on the phone, texting, reading the paper, smooching or just staring into space.
However doing it hour by hour would probably drive me insane. Today the woman in the cubicle must have been bored too, as she was sleeping. It would certainly help the time go by faster. :0)
The metro system really is amazing. Consider the tens of thousands of people (if not more) that use the metro every day, the metro stations are CLEAN. The staff of people that pick up after messy customers do a good job. There is no litter. There are no wastebaskets. There are no public restrooms. Just lots and lots of people scurrying here and there.
Once in a while a stray dog comes into the metro station. They are probably trying to get warm! They have even been known to ride the metro (even though I haven't seen that). On the subway itself, it's not uncommon for people looking for money to walk along asking for money. Today a blind man was making his way along going from car to car.
It truly is a wonderful way to get around. Getting to the station by bus might be a problem in bad weather, but once you are underground on the metro, you speed along to your destination.
There are different "lines" that go to different locations. For instance, today we took the purple line to the gray line. They are numbered and if you can read Russian, it is pretty easy to get around. Well, not ALL the time. Yesterday Dave and I were on our own trying to get to a music hall off the gray line. We walked quite a distance and realized we were on our way outside. We backtracked quite a distance to find where we had missed the gray line and were able to get to our destination without too much problem. That may be because we had a couple of missionaries that we bumped into who had a gps on their phone and we followed them. Today we needed to go to Tushkenskya and Pushkenskya. Yesterday we needed to go to Comsomolskaya.
I still can't speak very much Russian and understanding is even harder, but I can generally read it which helps a lot. If you can read the signs, you can figure out where you need to go, how many stops, etc.
Knowing how to get around on the metro doesn't mean I have changed my mind about traveling alone. Even by bus, I have no interest in going on public transportation alone, even though I am willing to walk places in areas I am familiar with.
Some things never change. Dos vidonya