Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day & The MBTA

Monday 28th May is Memorial Day. We took the opportunity of the holiday & the fine weather to go venturing the 'T' in Boston. If you're familiar with the Komuter, The Star & The Putra in KL then you'll get along fine with the trains here. In fact, you'll survive in any train, Underground, Metro or Subway system in the world! First of all, go to the nearest train station and get yourself a map of the train routes; plan where you're going, then get a ticket.
The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA)'s website is also a good way to start. It contains wealth of information. Every ride cost $2, so round trip is $4 - we bought our tickets from the touch screen machines at the station, but I noticed passengers can also buy them from the slot machine on the train, near the driver. Macam naik bas kat Malaysia! I also find crossing the railway tracks at the station as something odd, when its a No! No! back home. The station at Newton Center is above ground...I can say Newton nie macam Shah Alam laa. For an 'old' train system, I think the trains here are very fast & on time. Don't mind the physical conditions though - my son said " ..kalau kat M'sia, dah kena buang dah nie.." We took the Green line, Route D & our destination was Gov't Center in Downtown Boston - 14 stops altogether. From there we walked over to Quincy Market, Fanueil Hall, Haymarket & the New England Aquarium. With summer-like weather which the 'mat sallehs' crave for, the centers were buzzing with people & happenings.

I can say we were not the only visitors in town! :-) Quincy Market offers rows of food stalls which during lunch time will be packed with office workers surrounding the area. Boston souveniers are available at Fanueil Hall - an 'old' post office is also located within to cater for immediate deliveries and postal service. There's also a 'Cheers' bar lookalike nearby where we see quite a number of snapshots taken. Besides being a 'hot spot' for visitors, this area is also a historical site and its part of the Freedom Trail that the Trolley Tours offer. Notice the 'old' I previously mentioned in quotes; I believe we should also be preserving & showcasing them MORE than the 'new' which we are frequently hype-ing these days.. People want to see history & culture that's why they go to places; if not they would have stayed at home! Don't you think? Well, just a passing thought..:-)
The New England Aquarium, like any other, features animals from around the world - equipped with four-storey 200,000-gallon Giant Ocean Tank, its home to everything from seaturtles to sharks to tropical fish. I have been to our Sea World in Langkawi but it was some time back so I can't make an immediate comparison to this aquarium. Maybe I should research it! ;-) But, what I notice about the NE Aquarium is that, it has a clinic & lab for injured sea animals within the facility & those that they find in MA surrounding waters. Which is quite comforting to know...Of course, research is in conjunction with the educational institutions which Boston is renowned for.
Besides going around the 'inexpensive way' like we did, the city also offers visitors many more ways to tour Boston; such as the different Trolley Tours, the Duck Tours - it goes over land & water!, and the Harbor Cruises. To see so many Architecture, Museums, Historic Sites, Tour Sites & Fun Sites - making Boston a charming and educational city to visit. :-)

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