Sunday, June 24, 2012

It's fun to stay at the YM...

This weekend I spent six hours on Dutch trains. I thought you should share in the excitement of the experience, so I took this picture of the inside of a Dutch train to show you:

It's a bit out of focus. But it's hard to take a picture of, well, basically, nothing on public transportation without someone assuming you're up to something, like, I dunno, terrorism. So I had to be kinda surreptitious. But what I wanted to share with you is how it's totally unclear what we're not allowed to do here. I assume that the little genderless being with its arms out and a big red stroke running through its body means (absurdly) "no standing here with your arms stretched out" but it could just as well mean "no imitating birds in flight," "no practicing for your aircraft marshalling exam," "no anticipating an impending hug", "no telling fishing stories" or "no Village-People-inspired sing-a-longs." 

To be on the safe side I have taken to refusing to move my arms at all during the duration of any train journey. 

So if anyone out there reading this knows what this sign is actually warning me not to do, could you be a dear and get in touch? I'll even send a fabulous prize to the first person who sends in what seems like a reasonably believable explanation (I won't really. If I had a fabulous prize I would totally keep it for myself. Or sell it and then buy a car so I would no longer have to travel on trains with Da-Vinci-Code-type secret messages on them. Speaking of which, Dan Brown, if you're reading, you could totally write a book about this. Just be sure to credit me in your acknowledgements for giving you the idea. You're welcome).


The WSD's Top Ten Signs You are Becoming Dutch
  1. It means you're not supposed to stand in that area. :)

    I don't think the Dutch do symbols very well. Some trains have stickers on the windows that show a bottle with a red circle around it. Somehow that's supposed to mean "don't throw garbage out the train window". I never would have guessed.

    1. Really? That's what Birdman is trying to tell me? Next time I am totally going to stand right there, but with my arms crossed. I dare someone to call me out on it.

      If I had a fabulous prize I would definitely send it to you.