Anxiety in the métro

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I can’t help it, the thought of taking the Paris métro fills me with anxiety. This morning I had a doctors appointment at 9 am and my options were either transferring on two buses or taking a direct métro with a 5 minute walk. Since I am not a morning person, the métro reluctantly won out. 

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I strapped Little Miss into her Ergo carrier (I wouldn’t even dream of attempting the metro with her in a stroller. Hats off to all the mothers who do it! I have nothing but admiration for you) and we headed over. The platform was relatively calm but, as expected, the trains themselves were crammed with people heading to work.

© Europe According to Beata

© Europe According to Beata

The scene was a bit like this, except imagine a me as the man with the backpack and Little Miss as the backpack. You get the idea…

When Little Miss is in the carrier I’m always very aware of our space, but after living in Paris for almost 8 years I have no hesitation to shove back if people start leaning on us or on her, I’ve also had occasion to tell people off if they won’t listen to requests for more space.

I stress because I always expect the worst, however it’s always a pleasant surprise when people go out of their way to be kind. This morning a man yelled out, “Madame!” the crowds parted, and he said, “I’ve held a seat for you!” So we got to push past everyone and sit until our stop 6 stations later. Thank God for for small miracles.

My anxiety is far from being cured, but it’s these little moments that give me hope that I’ll one day be able to take the metro without feelings of dread…

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4 thoughts on “Anxiety in the métro

  1. There must be anti-phobic metro classes?
    If not I should start one 😉
    I get tons of work done on the Metro though never at crush hour..
    very inspired and I draw lots
    Why do Parisians get on and then not move further in?
    My one big qualm..

  2. Oh how heartening to hear that there are some good people in this world. I have horrible memories of being on the metro with my then four year old who couldn’t breathe and was so crushed I couldn’t pull her out. I ended up screaming frantically at the crowd who just looked at me with disinterest. I never caught the metro again.

    • Isn’t it shocking how apathetic people can be on the metro?! It’s like they completely disassociate themselves as human beings. I’m sorry you had that horrible experience!

      • Still doesn’t change my opinion of Paris though. 🙂 Would give anything for us all to live there. And generally we found the people to be so helpful and lovely! Public transport is like that anywhere in the world – just a strange mentality comes over people. Adore your blog.

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