We might have bubonic plague, but could Helsinki’s public transport system be even dirtier?

Kirjoittaja on New Yorkissa varttunut ja Helsingissä naisistunut copywriter.

Dear Lissu,

So, I’m assuming you read about all the bacteria they found in the New York City subways. Something like 5.5 million people ride the New York City subways every single day. It turns out that there are more than enough germs to go around in each and every subway station and subway car.

Obviously no one expected it to be clean, but my God! They found the usual stuff, like e-coli, cheese (New Yorkers eat A LOT of pizza) and meningitis. But they also found old microbes of anthrax and bubonic plague! Wait, what?!?! BUBONIC PLAGUE!!! They claim there’s nothing to worry about and that riding the subway is just as safe as it’s always been. I guess someone probably would have noticed by now if it was going around: “Can we make that 2:00 p.m. meeting a conference call? I’ve got the plague, so I’m going to work from home today.”

Anyway, as you can imagine, New Yorkers want answers to some important questions: Like “How the &#€” did anthrax get on the L train?!” and “Where can I buy those surgical masks that Asian tourists like to wear?” Things like that.

What I’d like to know is, if 5.5 million people a day are on the subways, why the hell can’t I ever get a taxi when I need one?

Love, Mom

P.S. If you think New York’s got it bad, they say that fabric seats on public transportation are, if possible, even more disgusting. I seem to recall Helsinki’s trams and buses having soft, fabric…. well… you know.