Disclaimer: This entry contains generalizations, is actually full of them.
The morning rush hour crowd on Moscow subway is different from the daytime crowd: at 8:30 am, people are tougher, more determined to sleep through the ride, totally oblivious to anyone else's presence.
It's a funny feeling to be standing over a young man, squeezed from three sides and with my belly almost touching him on the fourth, trying not to look him in the eye, as he sits there, looking sideways, too, until it's time for him to get out.
'A girly man' is the kindest name I have for someone like that.
In this part of the world, men often act as if they've got no wives, sisters, daughters and/or mothers - but, of course, they do, and then they're upset when other men treat their female relatives like shit.
On Moscow subway, young women offer me a seat more often than men do. It does feel embarrassing (or did, when my belly was smaller), but it's healthier to sit than to stand, so in order not to depend on the kindness of strangers, I always try to be the first one to enter the car and head for what may be the only vacant seat as if my life depended on it.
It's a reflex already. Once, a few months ago, I had to stand, waiting for my turn at the clinic; when a man got up to get himself a glass of water from the cooler a meter away, I made a couple of wide steps and took his chair within seconds. He didn't say a word, just stood there, drinking his water, and, after a minute or so, I suddenly realized I'd just done something totally inappropriate. I got up and apologized, explaining this was how I usually acted on the subway and that it all just got mixed up in my head somehow. The man smiled and told me not to worry.
Not as many generalizations as I expected I'd have when I returned from the clinic this morning, mad as hell.
So here's one more, by way of compensation, irrelevant to the beginning of this post: maternity hospitals in this part of the world are so gloomy, it's not surprising every second person here looks clinically depressed. The way we're born isn't too different from the way we live.