I went to Washington D.C. recently, and I had some misadventures with the metro system.
This is the first time I've used a metro system, and it took a while to get used to it. The metro system has five lines, and over fifty stops. It's sometimes a puzzle just to figure out how to reach your destination.
Needless to say, it'd be ridiculously hard if they had a different price for each of the hundreds of possible trips you could take on the Metro. So they have a really simple "dollar per ticket" scheme. Every time you ride on the metro, you pay a dollar for your ticket. It's the simplest, most obvious way for them to handle the thouands of daily ticket transactions.
Ha ha ha ha! That was a joke. Washington D.C. is home to the IRS, which made up the US Tax Code. So of course, the Metro system payment system is ridiculously complicated. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and say it's supposed to be something simple, like "one quarter for every mile you travel". But really, their price list looks like it ran it through a random number generator.
Strange prices aside, the real problem I had with the Washington Metro is that their machines kept rejecting my metro pass for no apparent reason. This happened 75% of the time. You're supposed to be able to use the same pass every time you use the metro, but I had to go through four metro passes in two days.
And whenever this happens, all the money on your metro pass magically disappears, because they don't refund you anything.
So maybe the Washington D.C. Metro didn't work so well. But about halfway during the trip, I suddenly remembered that the Washington D.C. Metro is used as the map screen in Nancy Drew: Secret of the Scarlet Hand.
And here's the map of the real metro:
As you can see, the two are pretty close. The yellow line has been partially extended since the game was made, but I was still surprised that they used the real DC Metro Map instead of making things up.
By complete coincidence, two of the four Metro stops I went to are used as locations in the game. These two stops are:
#1. The Colonial Hotel, which is the hotel Nancy stayed at. In real life, this is...
The National Zoo! That was a lot of fun to visit, needless to say.
#2. The Beech Hill Museum. About 80% of the game takes place in this location. In real life, this is...
The National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, at the Catholic University in America! That was even more fun to visit, and I'll talk more about both in later blog entries.