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Pay to Play

You have to pay to use some bathrooms in Ankara, Turkey.

This entry poses two barriers:

  1. You have to own 1 Turkish Lira.
  2. You really have to go to the bathroom.

Unfortunately, I had neither. I just wanted to go before the 4-hour bus ride to the Black Sea.

But even if I had 1 Lira, I still had to decide whether it was worth the pay to play.

Money constrains your decision-making. We should only buy the things we actually need; everything else is just a “nice to have,” yet we still desire more spending money while demanding more free stuff.

Nothing beats free. But free often leads to overuse. Nothing beats the value we extract from paid entertainment. But excess boredom begets materialism. Nothing beats paying for necessity. The essentials may not keep us happy but they keep us alive.

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Stuck in the Bathroom

Stuck in the bathroom is one thing; stuck in a train bathroom is hell.

Imagine the world moving outside while you painfully suffer in immobility surrounded by heat and grime.

On the outside, fellow passengers are trying to help you escape. Other passengers sit and watch avoiding embarrasment; after all, no one wants to help a person escape from a train bathroom.

The conductor is nowhere to be found. Two minutes turn into a lifetime, every second is a battle of patience and hope.

Confinement is stressfull. It doesn’t matter how big or small the cage is; no one, not even animals, like to be locked up for any reason. The freedom to move boundlessly is a human right.

The train tracks tick like years off a clock. We all want to leave in a dent on society before our last train stop. But sometimes we can’t do it alone.

(as seen in the Metro North Diaries collection on Medium)