We pay fares.

On the skytrain in Vienna, a boring-looking lady waves her ID and announces “Betreff de gratz otometz!” (spelling might be slightly off, of course.) Everyone immediately starts shuffling and sticking their hands and heads in the pockets and bags.
She realizes I’m not moving so she repeats it just to me again but slowly and threateningly this time. I don’t know what it all means, so I smile and approach her. And it occurs to me “HANG ON, WOMAN. What if she’s a mugger and everyone is pulling out their wallets?” I leap backwards like a Sonya Tayeh routine. And catch myself “What robber has a photo id?” She glares at me from above her reading glasses. I’m still frozen, and we’re in a stare down. I think “This is how people get killed. You stupid ass.”

A girl sticks a pass to intersect the stare-down. The lady nods. A Sky train fare evader buster!! Phew.  I proudly step forward and show her my card.

She examines it.  Points at it, “stamp!”, tsks, and copies the issuing date from my receipt to the blank space on the card.

Train gets to the next stop by the time this whole thing is over. A dozen people rush off the train in that “I was always getting off at this station” manner. They might as well have whistled.  You’re welcome.
Oops it’s my stop too! I run to follow the masses and… these doors are fast eh?  I walk away, holding my right ribs.


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