Happy birthday to a broken escalator


Probably not as funny as residents of Toronto creating an impromptu roadside shrine to a dead raccoon, whom the city council workers have not cleaned up for 12 hours, but in a similarly surreal style this story from Poland (my translation):


Broken escalator at the train station shames Katowice. Polish Railways seem to be unable to fix it. People, meanwhile, are starting to sing songs about it and organise community events around it.

The escalator has been out of work two years now, from mid-2017. By now the immovable “moving stairs” have their own fan page on Facebook, as well as their own Twitter account and a Tumblr blog. And today, the escalator has been thrown its own birthday party, organised by the community group “Fix Your City”.

Katowice, not far west of my hometown Krakow, is the capital of the coal mining and industrial region of Slask (Silesia). Not that long ago, in an act of epic trolling, it has been chose by the right-wing Polish government as the venue for an international climate change summit, whose delegates were welcomed to town by a coal miners’ brass band. It seems that the local residents too have a penchant for the absurd: the train station escalator was presented with its own birthday cake, inscribed “Two Years Broken”, and the gathered well-wishers sang “Sto Lat” (“Hundred Years”), the Polish version of “Happy Birthday to You”. No news yet if the escalator will be allowed to continue on in its semi-retirement for a third year.

And by the way, about that raccoon: