>1. The YIVO Institute has the records of American Displaced Persons Camps in Austria, Germany in Italy from 1945-1952. Since my grandparents and father lived in camps in Austria during that time period, I am eager to see what is in the archive. YIVO is conveniently open Monday-Thursday from 9:30 am to 5 pm. However, the reading room is open until 7:30 on Mondays. I called and asked until what time the library was open today and was told 7:30. After work, I rushed down to get as much time as possible with the records.

After passing through the metal detector and sending my bag through the x-ray machine, using the mandatory coat check, and providing photo ID, I took the freezing elevator to the library and reading room on the 3rd floor. The woman at the information desk informed me that since YIVO closed at 5:00, I could not get the records I wanted. I am extremely confused as to why a reading room is open when the records that one is supposed to read in that room are unavailable, but there were people in there using computers and looking over books from somewhere, so what do I know.

2. On the subway home from my failed trip to YIVO, a woman rushed onto the train with a stroller and four or five year old girl in tow. After mowing people down to get the stroller in the middle of the car, she wedged herself in the small space between me and the extremely large man on the other side. She struggled to pull her daughter onto her lap.

"Excuse me," I said. "Would your little girl like to sit down?" I gestured at my seat and moved slightly to get up.

"I HAVE TWO KIDS WITH ME AND I NEED TO SIT," she yelled in my face. That is when I realized that she had earphones on. They were blasting music. Not only could she not hear me, but if her kids needed something, they were shit out of luck.

Resisting the urge to slap her, I tried again. "Yes, I see that you should sit. Would your daughter like to sit also?"

"DIDN'T YOU HEAR ME? I SAID I GOTTA SIT DOWN BECAUSE I GOT TWO KIDS WITH ME!" One of the earphones slid out of her ear slightly when she pulled her daughter up higher.

"Yes, I heard you," I sneered. "But I am asking if your girl would like my seat." At that, I stood up and tried to wiggle around the stroller to get away from this cuntface.

"Oh, naw. She'll just sit on my lap."

Since there was really no standing room, I sat back down. The woman standing in front of me who witnessed the whole scene sighed. "Yeah, no good deed goes unpunished," I said.

"She's probably just used to people being rude," the stranger replied. The woman, of course, could not hear a word anyone was saying. The stranger was very kind, and chatted up the little girl about Valentine's Day. For all the mother knew, she was soliciting the kid. When she got off the train, the little girl kept waving and saying, "Bye bye. Have a good night."

It broke my heart. I know that there are times when parents don't want to hear their kids, but the girl kept trying to talk to her mom, who just nodded, unhearing. So awful.