Author: Melissa Tandiwe Myambo

Growing Up in Africa, I Couldn’t Wait to Get Old

Like many New Yorkers, I am grateful to the city planners who had the foresight to create such a phenomenal public transit system in the early 1900s. Growing up in Zimbabwe, a “Third World” country — to use an un-PC but strangely resonant term — I used to have to wait for a bus to take me to town for anywhere from three hours on a very bad day to at least 45 minutes on a good day. Or I’d have to catch a ramshackle skorokoro “emergency taxi.” Luckily for me, my family owned a car, so taking the bus was not an everyday necessity. The problem: I was one of the lucky few. New York, on the contrary, is a democratic city. As a result,  democratic buses and subways vein the whole area, carrying passengers to pretty much any of the five boroughs fairly easily, night or day. Often it only takes four minutes for a train to arrive and allow me to step through the sliding doors. But I do have one problem …