The infamous and mysterious “NAZI” Skytrain sign. Click for a wider view.I’m only an occasional SkyTrain rider, but when I am on there, I like sitting right at the front of the train, in the little seat conveniently situated directly at the forward window, and enjoying the cool straight-down-the track views. This also happens to give me a clear view of the signage intended only for train personnel, including certain ones with mysterious codes that are visible shortly after exiting each station. These signs bear random four-letter codes like HIQZ and such. But I sure did a double-take when, leaving the Nanaimo station, I spotted the one that read… NAZI.
I know it’s just a random code and not intentional, but I’m still startled every time I see this sign. I always look for it, and I intended to grab a photo of it when I got a chance, just to confirm that it REALLY read what I thought it did. I mean, maybe that was a number one, not an “I”, at the end? Well, the photo op finally arrived, and sure enough – that’s what it reads. I have to wonder, isn’t there some way they could have fudged their little code system and avoided this attention-grabbing-for-the-wrong-reason word? I mean, they leave out the “Q” and “Z” on telephone number pads, and the 13th floor is usually skipped on elevators. But I guess no such thought occurred to the genius planners of this code, or anyone right down to the sign painters – they stuck to their plan. You’d think they’d reconsider this, considering that probably more than a few people already refer to the transit cops as “Skytrain Nazis” (though I’ve certainly never had a bad experience with them).
One also thinks of the claim that Mussolini, for all the murderous abuses of his Fascist regime, at least “made the trains run on time”. (Though it turns out that this oft-heard claim is false.)
At any rate, that jarring word is currently clearly visible to any attentive rider on Vancouver’s fine (but perhaps secretly evil) transit system.