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On a weekday midday intercity train to a northwestern city, a youngish couple are seated several rows ahead of us. The woman is next to the window, her legs across those of her adjacent companion. The high seat backs all but obscure the pair from my view, but the woman's feet and ankles are visible across the aisle. In dark tights, at this angle, they look like hooves.

In a rushhour cab through rain and tramworks of another northwestern city, as the vehicle arrives at the station music begins to play: the sentimental croon of 'The Road Is Long' by The Hollies. It's too loud to be the cabbie's mobile ringtone; it must be from speakers somewhere in the taxi itself, somehow triggered by arrival at the station. Feeling that there is a commercial intent concealed in that, and next time we're walking it, if I've any say in the matter.

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metrocentric

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