By Asa Schauffler ~
I stepped off the Miami Metrorail with the group at the Government Center Station. We were there to change over to the Miami Metromover where we would go to the Tenth Street Promenade, the closest Metromover station to Florida International University’s Miami Campus. As we walked down the steps at Government Center, I pulled out my metro card to swipe at the gate. I swiped at the gate and an error message popped up that said “card invalid, please see station manager”. I tried swiping a few more times with the same results every time. I wasn’t going to get through the gate with this card.
I looked for the station manager with no luck. I then looked for the rest of my group, to my dismay I saw them board the Metromover without me. I tried banging on a glass window that separated the station and the platform in hopes of catching someones attention with no success. I immediately pulled out my phone and called Sandra. I reached her and explained what happened and she explained how to get to the Tenth Street Promenade after I pass the turnstile. I needed to figure out how to get through the gates. I saw a Miami Metro Police Officer and I tried to get his attention but he was preoccupied with another issue. I then heard a woman’s voice say “here you go!” I turned and saw a woman in nurse’s scrubs. She reached out her card and swiped me through the gate. She said that she had seen what happened. I told her that I needed to get to Tenth Street Promenade and she told me that the next Metromover is not the one I should get on, but to get on the one after that and it would take me right there. I followed her advice and boarded the second train.
I gazed out the window of the train as it maneuvered around the buildings of downtown Miami. I thought to myself about what would have happened if I had fallen behind like this while we were in Cuba. I am confident that I would have been able to resolve the issue, however it would have been a lot more complicated. In fact, a friend of mine who happens to be Cuban and Swedish, told my prior to leaving for this trip that a common saying in Cuba is “No es fácil, es muy complicado.” For those who don’t know, this translates to “It is not easy, it is very complicated.”
If this scenario happened in Cuba, say with the public bus system, I would have had no way of contacting Sandra or any of the other professors, or my classmates. It would not have been easy, it would have been very complicated.