Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Public transport and other snippets!

How many times have you been annoyed by what others do? This is a rant on some things which annoy me. Feel free to rant away if you feel that you don't agree or agree.

So to begin, I HATE people who chuck litter on the floor! Why can't they use there pockets, until they get to a bin? And why pick up the free newspapers if you're just going to chuck it anywhere! And train tickets- whats wrong with the bins or your pockets! What do you get out of chucking your bus or train ticket on the floor?

There's this one street in Manchester, which I have to walk on to get from one building to another and it has only one bin on it! (every Wednesday my friends hear me complaining about this!) I eat my apple whilst walking to the lecture, and it ticks me off that there's no bin near by, but does that mean that I chuck the darn apple core on the floor? No way! That's gross! Yes, I'm all riled up now, but making a mess in my room is OK, that's my personal space, but on the street- uncool!

I must confess that I used to have a really (bad?) habit of picking litter up on the street sometimes. The thing is after I've picked up 3 empty crisp packets, I realise that I'd be there all day if I continued! (I used to do this in my school all the time, but then it was OK since school wasn't too big and I was a prefect- but the streets are awful!)

The one thing I hate about smokers, is when they smoke under the bus shelter!! This causes me to get up and stand outside, (sometimes in the rain!). I can't stand the smell of smoke, and I've been told that I'm going to get bopped one day because every time someone walks past me and blows smoke into my face, I lose control of my tongue! :o (I try to keep my voice down, but I've been told that it's pretty loud at times!) I don't understand why as soon as you walk out of the train or bus you have to light up. Can't you wait till you're outside the train station at least?

I don't mind talking to random people sometimes, since I've encountered a few interesting people through this! But another no-no thing is when people put there music on loud, like its their dads flippin car!! I don't want to hear your crappy music- get some earphones, or better still turn it off! This happened today, and thankfully the girl got of the next stop! Imagine you've had a rough day and just want to lean your head against the window, and relax until your stop (which happens to be at the end!) but all you can hear is deafening music! You can enjoy music without having it on too loud!

Is there anything wrong with saying 'thank you' to the bus driver? I was also going to write, what's wrong with smiling, but some people tend to have grumpy days all the time. I mean it can't hurt you to smile at the person you sit next to, can it? Or if someone smiles at you, whats wrong with smiling back? I'm not going to say the joke about 'takes two muscles to smile etc, because as someone once said, it only takes a few muscles to bop someone as well!'.

One more thing (Jackie- for all the Jackie Chan cartoon watchers ;)) if there's an escalator which clearly asks you to stand on the right hand side, so that people who are in a rush can walk up the left hand side- then DO IT! Don't stand in the middle, or if you're with a friend then make sure you're both standing and chatting on one side! Not the friend on the left hand side and you on the right hand side! This causes people in a rush, to either miss their train or worryingly injure themselves in rage!!

Egm's post below highlights other issues, which in this mood I probably wouldn't have highlighted properly! The final thing which really annoyed me on Monday, is that no one got of their back sides to offer a seat to an old woman, who had a walking stick and a suitcase! I managed to locate a seat for her in the other carriage, which thankfully wasn't taken but for all the people who saw her standing and obviously struggling, it wouldn't have hurt to offer your seat! I know sometimes people get offended it you offer them your seat (age is a sensitive issue I guess) but most people would probably appreciated the gesture at least!! Wouldn't you want people offering you their seat if you were old and couldn't stand for that long? Regardless of how long the journey is for, I'd probably be cursing everyone! *sigh* I know some people really are worried about which people are genuine, when they offer to help with their bags etc. which can be granted since nowadays you can't really trust anyone. But it really irks me to see that someone is struggling and no ones helping out. When someone does help out, everyone just looks at each other guiltily or some just glare at the helper out! (If I've missed anything out, do let me know ;) And may I also mention, like egm did, that I may have been guilty of one or two things myself, but I try not to do them!)

Here's egm's take on public transport in Boston! You can find the full post here.

'1 If you are about to get on the bus, please have your fare ready. There is nothing I hate more than having the bus stop for you, only to have you digging around in your pocket looking for change. More so if you have been waiting for a while! There are times I am waiting for the bus with others, and only when the bus does show up will they look for fare. This holds up the line for those of us that were ready. The only exceptions to this are if you are old or infirm.

I have been guilty of this at times, when I am too carried away to realise the bus has arrived. Lucky for me though, I have a bus pass within easy reach in my wallet, making it easy for me to pull it out. Thankfully these are rare moments!

[I also agree with number 1! Whats wrong with counting your money before you get on? (and bus passes rule- I love just flashing it at the driver and strolling onto the bus ;) )]

2 It is a good thing smoking in public spaces (the interior of a bus being defined as such a space) is illegal. However, that doesn’t stop folks from coming on with cigarette breath. If you want to smoke, by all means, be my guest. Just don’t do it near me, nor just before boarding a bus. There are times when someone gets on the bus, and I can smell cigarette breathe on them almost all the way at the back of the bus! Horror is when they choose to sit right behind me, exposing me to ultra high levels of fumes I would rather not be immersed in. Ditto for those who booze heavily. If you have to, please use mouthwash or something! This is definitely one thing I am not guilty of (I neither drink nor smoke).

A side story to this particular pet peeve. One time I was on this bus with two funny looking characters. When they neared their stop, they took off two joints. Yes, you read that right. At first I didn’t know, but what followed next made me realize what they were. The bus stopped, and as they were getting off, one of them lit his joint. He then held onto the back door, taking two puffs and blowing the smoke right into the bus, while forcing the door open. It’s a wonder none of us inside ended up floating in clouds chanting ire ire! Ahh, you can imagine my irritation at this!

3 Please please please take everything you brought on the bus with you when you disembark. I hate littering. With a passion. I am so anal about it, that if I see a newspaper on the bus that I want to read, I will hold onto it long after I am done, and get off with it and toss it in the recycle bin if there’s one nearby or trash bin otherwise. Even if I wasn’t the one that originally brought it onto the bus/train.

There are public transport systems that have banned food on the bus or train. Thankfully, the system in Boston isn’t one of them. However, I would be the least bit surprised if this was instituted. Why oh why do you have to wedge that soda cup in between seats, or leave your lunch box beneath the seat, or worse yet, just toss it onto the floor? Why must I be forced to see the bottle you left on the floor roll back and forth with the motion of the bus?

Funny story about this. A colleague at work who takes the same bus as I do has the same aversion to littering. One time he was on a bus where a coffee cup had been left on the floor and was rolling back and forth. This got to him, so as he got off, he stomped on it to flatten it, only to squirt the coffee that was still in it all over the bus. He was embarrassed to no end. He just picked it up slowly, got off the bus and tossed it into a bin. These days he makes sure the cup is empty before stomping on it.

4 Please don’t stand at the door way if you don’t have to. If the bus is relatively empty, have that passageway clear. This makes it easier for people to get on and off the bus, thus wasting no time. If you are afraid that you might not get off quick enough, the driver will not drive off until you get off the bus, so move away from the door.

5 Similar to the point above is people congregating close to the front of the bus. By design, you pay when you get on, with the cash receptacle right next to the driver. At times a bus comes by, and I go to board it, only to find the front half clogged full of people. There are times I have mistaken this to mean the whole bus is full, making me not board it and wait for the next one, only to see a nearly empty second half of the bus as it drives off, leaving me there all angered up! So nowadays I just get on the bus and make my way to the back. There are times I get to the back and there are seats galore, or plenty of standing space. I usually look at all the poor souls at the front standing in misery packed like sardines, when they could be having so much space around them, if only they moved to the back. Hey, more space for me!

7 If you are carrying a bag on your back and get on a full bus, please remove it and place it on the floor. This makes it easier for others to move around. It is also easier for you to move around if you carry the bag by its handle, as opposed to having it on your back. I especially hate it when someone carrying the bag on their back tries to squeeze past you, hitting you off balance, and moving on as though they did nothing. Or better yet, giving you angry glances for being in their way! There are times I have gone against this rule, but for the most part I will take my bag off my back and lay it on the floor between my legs.

8 I don’t want to engage in conversation with you while on the bus. So please don’t talk to me. You might catch me in a talkative mood one day, but the chances of that happening are slimmer than that of the pope marrying a third husband and a fourth wife. This is one thing I definitely never do. Unless someone approaches me first, I will not talk to them.

Interesting aside to this… a pal met his gf by doing just this, so I guess there are times this might work out to your advantage. Crazy thing is, he delivered what has to be one of the all time lamest lines ever. But the woman thought nothing of it, considering that initial contact was the start of a long relationship for the two. And the line he gave? “So you are taking this train, eh?”. I warned you it was lame.

9 Similar to the one above, if talking on your phone, please be courteous and keep the conversation to yourself, or don’t talk at all if you can’t. I don’t want to hear about your shenanigans, or the drama in your life, or the plans you have for later. Even if you are speaking in a different language, that still doesn’t make it okay for you to speak at the top of your voice such that I can hear you at the front all the way at the back of the bus. I try never to take calls on the bus. I usually tell people to wait and I will call them later. If I have to talk, then I try to keep it low and short.

[I don't mind quiet conversations but I have a friend who never shuts up on buses and talks loudly, which I get irritated by myself! I don't want the whole bus (or train carriage sometimes) to know my whole life story!)]

11 Please stay on your side of the seat. Keep your legs off the seat so I can sit down too. It’s great when you get on the bus or train and you find someone occupying the whole seat without regard for those standing. And if you ask them to move so you may sit down, they glare at you as though you just asked to blow a hole in their head.

I always try to be conscious if I am taking up space I shouldn't be it by the way I seat or by having my stuff on the seat. I try to move it away so others can sit down.'

BTW: if you manage to read it till here, I'm becoming quite a little stalker, but worryingly I think my identity 'might' have been compromised thanks to a silly friend! aaaaahhhhhhh! Don't worry I'm not them stalker types that follow people, it was the matlab session so I couldn't help it!


egm said...

The escalator thing gets to me as well. If it's wide enough to stand two abreast, stand on one side and let others walk on the other side!

I must admit, saying thanks to the driver is definitely not something we do back home. I had to warm up to that notion when I got here. If you said thanks to them back home they'd look at you funny as though you had just popped out a second head or something.

I also find it sad that folks won't get up for the old/infirm taking the bus.

beans said...

Exactly! Not talking with someone for a few minutes isn't going to do you any harm! Nowadays if I'm in a rush I tend to dash up the stairs!

Ha, you get weird looks from other people sometimes for saying 'thanks' as well! I hadn't used much public transport before I started university, since there wasn't a need for it. So I wasn't really aware of it as well! But nowadays, I tend to see the same drivers which is a good thing since if they see me running for the bus they stop!! (like today!)

If you don't see an old person then that's different, but like you said it's just sad that you don't offer your seat if you see them! Can't do much about it I'm afraid!

Sameer said...

no idea who you are, but from the looks of it, you're on my course at uni

beans said...

Hi Sameer,

Wow, I think you're the first person to come across my blog from my course. *shifty looks* let's keep it that way eh? ;)

Are you single honours or joint honours; since I also have no idea as to who you are.