Her dark hair, greying at the roots, fell in waves on her shoulders. She wore a brown, tweedy jacket and skirt suit. Her matronly look made her stand out amongst the youth with their jeans hanging halfway down their hips. Nor did she look like the harassed working moms rushing home with the food shopping.
A young, scruffy guy approached the turnstile and in one swift move jumped across it. Above the turnstiles, a notice read: Cheating may be costly. Below the words was a cartoon figure of someone tripping and falling over.
No one seemed to pay any attention to it. That and the sign on the trains warning of a 50 euro fine if caught without tickets.
A middle-aged man in a faded grey suit, talking on his mobile walked towards the turnstile. As it opened up for him, he did not notice the matronly woman squeeze in behind him.
On the other side, she patted herself down, run a graceful hand over her hair, neatly tucking away the stray strands, and proceeded down to the platform.
I hoped that nobody she knew had seen her. She looked like a figure of respectability. Someone’s mother, an active member of the community, fallen on hard times. It was just an anti-crisis measure, echoing the advertisements for anti-crisis this and anti-crisis that.