Nandosgirl’s Weblog

I begin todays posting by asking myself, what is the social etiquette when one is on a train, or metro or any form of public transport? It’s a topic I have asked myself and many others, it is also a question I have asked many people over years. Many many friends have received early morning texts with exclamations at the behaviours of those around me on public transport. (Sorry to all)
This does not limit itself to one country either, although I didn’t expect weird behaviour on the metro to stop when I move country, I possibly did expect to see a different class of behaviour. Now I can’t really explain why I thought that but there it is.
Two examples spring to mind as I sit on this train to work. One yesterday, a 30-something lady was quietly reading her book when a boy sits next to her and had quite loud music playing. Both minding their own business (obviously I wasn’t) when the woman says to the boy “Please can you turn your music down, it’s very loud?” He replied “no” and looked a little triumphant and defiant at the same time. The lady responded “it’s very loud that I can hear it” The boy looked smugly on while his mates who are standing are all sniggering by the door. The lady then proceeds to take his headphones off one ear. He looks absolutely livid when she says “look, look how loud it is” The boy looked mad and you could see in his eyes – he wanted to lash out in some way, but he didn’t say anything and got off at the next stop with his friends.
What is the social protocol here? Should she have taken the headphones off the boy? Should she have given him the name of a good ear doctor? Should he have respected her request? It’s a very odd scenario and the boy looked no older than 15. It just made me think about the way you behave on public transport.
The second example has just happened when I began writing this piece. The train conductor has come to check our tickets and the guy next to me is picking his nose with some fervour! The conductor and I just looked at this guy giving him a strange look. Should you pick your nose in public? That’s not a question limited to public transport only.
What should you do on public transport? Talk loudly, read, listen to music or clean facial orifices where possible? This morning on the metro, a guy sat in a seat in front of me with a cotton bud and proceeded to clean his ears look at it every once in awhile to make sure he had everything! GROSS! WHAT ON EARTH? WHY?? Is the public transport an extension of your lounge? I think not!
On the other hand, I do make mistakes myself and I understand that I am not blameless. I am that person on the train that sometimes has 3 – 4 bags with her on the train and is struggling to handle everything (its not my fault, laptop bag, handbag, lunch bag and gym bag – now looking at that list, I should probably buy myself a Samsonite!). I am also that person that occasionally puts her feet up on the metro or the trains if I’m working or if it’s an empty carriage and have been told off once or twice – I did listen!
Close friends will say that I should stop complaining and learn to drive. I suppose they have a point, maybe I should get a move on with that…..

The crazy haired one is me.

The crazy haired one is me.

{October 2, 2009}   me and my bb

Let me explain a little about myself. While I was a student, I worked part time at a mobile phone store for four and a half years. The new phones and the new deals were drummed into me mercilessly to ensure I wouldn’t miss-sell anything. There were the constant battles over who had the best phones with your colleagues. I remember this fondly as I was as bad as the rest; spending the best part of £200 for a Nokia 8210 and then remember when my sister (who wasn’t part of the competition) got one for free! The battle for the camera phones then soon began with the Sony Ericsson T68 grey then in white then the T68i with the attachment! The battle goes on and on and on. I know my ex colleagues who are still in the industry still face the same battle at Managers meetings with iPhones and Blackberrys. This brings me to my blog piece.
So having recently started at a new company, a new perk that I enjoy is having a Blackberry as part of the package. Now I realise I may be a little late in joining this particular group of people and loving how it can seep into every part of your life!

Now for the first few days – I couldn’t actually put it down and loved ones around me did admittedly lose out to the BB for a few days – I downloaded every app I thought I would ever need and tested all the different twitter apps to find the one best suited to me. It took me about a week to realise it’s JUST A PHONE!

When I went back to the office the following week the discussion began over the differences between the iPhone and the BB or the games and the different ways you can become obsessed with it (there are many) (our favourite is one for iPhones – thank you Marc Vael for that one). My obsession grew with it, and I began looking for interesting covers and cases for it (based on what would go with my outfit) and loved it again like one would rejoice in a rediscovered love. We went for long walks together, took train journeys everywhere, he sang to me when I was bored, he took snapshots of fun times. We bonded and there was general feeling of love.

Two weeks ago, my bb was stolen – it was hideous, there were tears, screaming and general wailing to anyone who listened and to everyone who didn’t even care – you really have to feel sorry for the guy sitting next to me on the Eurostar back to Brussels as I moaned for two hours straight! (then again, it could have been worse for him and there could have been delays on the train).
For two weeks, there has been no bb, and I don’t care – I honestly don’t care if anyone called me, where my phone is now, The number of times I have left my phone at home for the past two weeks has been numerous, which would never have happened six years ago! At that time, I would have forgotten my clothes but not my phone! How times have changed.
Back to the present day where, a new bb has arrived and I’ll pick it up tomorrow, so how will I fare? Will I remember what life was like beforehand or will it all be forgotten in the mad frenzy of using both hands to hold a phone and to let everyone know when I see poo on the road again?

bb image

{April 6, 2008}   New month, new beginning….

I have been in Brussels for sometime now (2 years) and I havent really kept track of the strange experiences I’ve had. But I feel I should. Some of the entries may be slightly random. Feel free to leave feedback.

The first saga begins…

My delightful flatmate had kindly agreed to look after his friends pet hampsters while she was travelling. I have never had a pet, but listening to colleagues and friends experiences of growing up with a variety of pets I anticipated this responsibility with relish (yeah ok I wasn’t to actually do anything but still!)

I returned to Brussels after a long weekend in London to see the hamsters seperated. We initially were given four to look after but when I had got back the three bigger ones had beaten the smaller one into a comatose state. My flatmate (M) put the injured one into a seperate box and we hoped for the best.

A day later, we realised it had not survived. We paid our respects and put the little thing to rest. As I spent the next few evenings quietly working, I had heard a small whiny noise. I looked into the box and a tiny hamster had appeared. Apparantly the 3 beasts had been busier in other ways! Two days later we found there were three baby hamsters – with the smallest hands and feet. So like any proud parents we would celebrate the birth of a new hamster (or hamsters in this case). But we were not completely sure of the parentage as these hamsters all look like they have been going at it like rabbits (ahem… excuse the expression)

Ah well lets see how this progresses………The next step for hamsters.....






et cetera