I wouldn’t go so far to say that I love public transport. But I would compare it to my legs: necessary and vital.
From the moment I turned eleven and needed to get to school on my own, I used the tube, train, bus and eventually tram regularly.
I grew up and lived for the majority of life with the northern line an unvalued commodity. And whilst I couldn’t tell you how to walk from place to place, I could tell you the tube line, where to change and the approximate time it would take.
What however annoys me, and what I cannot remember being an issue in all my public transport taking years is the etiquette that needs to be employed and not employed.
It used to be a thing which (if I remember correctly) everyone just knew. But now as I enter the bus, train and tube to get to work, I realise that it is not the innate thing which I took for granted.
Let me highlight my main three issues:
Men (ok and sometimes women) being polite.
I would like to think that chivalry is not dead. Thank goodness. And when it is not busy and everyone is not in a rush, I welcome it with a smile on my face and a thought that the gentleman breed did not die out before I was born.
HOWEVER when it is rush hour the act of being kind to a woman means you are blocking other people from getting on. The correct etiquette is:
Every man/woman/child old enough to travel on their own for themselves.
There is no time, patience or love for this behaviour.
This of course doesn’t include the exceptions, namely: old people (but to be fair this doesn’t count because unless I am wrong their freedom pass doesn’t work till 9.30am), people with a disability (temporary or permanent), and pregnant women.
Complaining about people not queueing
I like a queue. I’d like to think that this like soaked into the pores of my skin soon after birth. It is fair. It it is proportional. And it is decent behaviour.
But let us suspend with this, perfectly rational at any other time, action in rush hour. Because it is time to employ the:
I’m rushing to get somewhere so I’ll do what I need to do school of thought.
And time to divorce the:
angry that someone else has the inclination to use that big space on the side to move themselves further up the five lane feeding line into a two lane escalator thinking.
I would implore those who do not partake in cut in line philosophy to breathe through their frustration and in the words of Elsa ‘let it go’.
I accept that everyone comes with their own unique body odour. I have no complaint. I am sure that I may (this has never been made apparent to me) have my very own special scent which may not favourable to some people’s noses.
I also accept that people have the free will to do what the hell they want to do with their own bodies, but get this: so long as it doesn’t harm anyone else.
If you don’t wash in the morning, trust me, it harms the whole carriage. Public transport is hardly ever empty, so your smell swarms like an invading army up everyone’s nostrils.
There is especially little reason why in the morning that smell is still clinging to you and destroying those around you. I mean, you’re supposed to shower at least in the morning or the night before.
I get that there can be the odd times when, oops it just happened, it was too hot, you ran for the bus, you ran out of deodorant. But there are repeat offenders. And even with all the benefit of the doubt I can employ, their actions cannot be reconciled.
I don’t want to be mean. Sometimes it is medical and cannot be helped. But for all others, please, try to wash or at least, keep your arms down….