We were walking through MRT Jingmei and one escalator was out of service. Reasonable predictions based on experience could be made that it would remain out of service for one day, two at most while being visibly repaired.
"If we were in DC," Brendan said, "and this were the Metro, that escalator would be in that condition for several months."
"No," I replied, "it would look like that, but have more random stairs missing for no reason, with nobody working on it, and it would emit a creepy smell."
"We're talking about the USA as though it's a Third World country."
"Yeah, well, for the most prosperous nation on Earth, I sometimes look at the infrastructure, especially for public transit, and I think 'Really. Really? Is that the best you can do?'"
Of course Taiwan doesn't get off scot-free. Taipei has awesome public transit (sorry, Taizhong) but its sidewalks leave me scratching my head.