Sunday, 15 February 2015

The Quintessentially Russian Metro Barriers

There is something quintessentially Russian about the ticket barriers in the metro. Some, it is true, consist of plexiglass gates that, in quite a sane and civilized manner, simply fold open when you tap your metro card. However, the majority of barriers work in a different manner all together.

These gateways are deceptively empty and open looking, but if you tap your card wrong, move too slowly, are out of credit, or fail to tap a card at all, a tinkling alarm sounds and a barrier  crashes out of either side of the gateway in a vicious attempt to trap you. This hurts. A lot. To the point of leaving bruises. In fact, the  barrier guards rarely bother pursuing people who have set the alarm off, probably assuming that this painful attack on the person's legs and sensitive bits was repayment enough for not properly paying the forty ruble metro fare.

The upshot is that a necessary step for entering most metro stations is, quite literally, paying a machine to not punch you in the cunt.

1 comment:

  1. And while we are on the subject of vicious doors in the metro, the main outer doors could certainly do with some attention. Hefty glass trimmed in metal with a full range of motion both inwards and outwards, they tend to get caught in the gale-force cross drafts created by the underground trains and swing in and out with such heavy and speedy force it is really a wonder everyone doesn't leave the metro with a nose bleed.