Tuesday, April 16, 2013

5 Public transport don'ts

One of the most startling things about moving to a big city (no, Cape Town does not count) is getting to grips with public transport. Apart from the fact that it is a fairly confusing system to begin with (I honestly don't know where I would be without my bus app), for many people, being thrust into an enclosed space with a pile of strangers and no personal bubble, is a traumatic experience.

We don't quite know how to handle it. It's like being stuck in a lift with other people, except it's for an inconceivably long journey. This seems to have an odd effect on some people, who become so used to treating the experience as if they are alone (head down, earphones in) that they become immersed in that anonymity and appear to forget that they're in PUBLIC. Well, I'm here to remind you - and the following behaviour is unacceptable:

1. Primping, preening and general body maintenance

This is perhaps the worst offence of all. Generally, when you leave the house, you leave ready to face the world. Not so for the woman I witnessed on the tube on Friday evening, who in the course of my short journey put on her mascara, plucked her eyebrows, then applied body lotion to her legs. As my sister commented, why stop there? Why didn't she get to work on her bikini line? Other offences observed on the tube: eyelash curling, nail painting and nail filing. 

Hair removal and makeup application are private self-maintenance activities that should be reserved for your bedroom or bathroom. Leaving a trace of your body behind, beyond involuntary skin cell shedding is not on. The only primping I will accept on public transport is lip balm application and hair brushing (provided hair is not dropped everywhere - shudder).

2. Excessive PDA

'Nuff said. Ain't nobody wanna see that. 

3. Eating smelly food

It may smell delicious to you, but for the dozens of other passengers in your carriage NOT eating it, the smell of your Mac and fries is an unwelcome olfactory assault. As a rule, any fast food is not going to make you popular on public transport. So you don't care what others think? If everyone felt that way, we'd be smelling a lot more than food a lot more often. It's a slippery slope.

4. Conducting TMI conversations

Groups of young girls seem to be the worst offenders, but none of us is innocent. Something about the tube seems to switch off that filter we all generally employ when chatting about private matters in public spaces. I once endured a 15-minute discussion by some girls on their way out about who fancied whom, who had given head to whom, and various other obscene overshares. I wish I could unhear some of the things I heard, but they will stay with me forever. Nobody needs to know your private business, and even if you don't care what they hear, chances are that they don't want to hear.

5. Anything you wouldn't do in front of your mum

This is good rule of thumb for those who find that public transport propriety doesn't come naturally. Behaviour falling into this category includes (but is not limited to) picking your nose, biting your nails or touching your downstairs area. 

More pearls of wisdom on London living:

No comments:

Post a Comment

Follow  <b>reberoodle</b> on Twitter