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.

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