A Typical Day Riding the Train

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I don't usually catch the city train but yesterday was a beautiful day and so I thought, why not? I caught the train for a dental checkup. While waiting for the train, a man talking to himself immediately caught my attention. He was sitting on the sidewalk and talking to himself. At first I thought, "ok, maybe he has his cell phone head piece on" but it didn't take me long to single that thought out. He was just talking to himself. He walked away, I think, after he noticed people were looking at him.

There were two moms at the bus stop with their toddlers. They were standing in the area I was standing so I know they needed to pay their fares when they boarded the train. If you have your bus fare, you can board in the middle or back of the train. If you don't, then you would need to board in the front. Our public transit company hires security guards to do random fare checks. You have to show your bus fare to them when they ask for it. If you don't have your fare, you are given a ticket. So, seeing the moms with their kids, my intention was to let them board first because I know first hand how cumbersome it is to pay for your train fare and holding onto your child. The first mom boarded with her daughter and I made space for the second mom, who also had a stroller, to board. Well, two other passengers zoomed right past me and the other mom. How rude! I boarded after the second mom and her baby. Guess what? The train was full and it wasn't a surprise to see no one stood up to offer the lady and her baby a seat. So there she was holding onto her daughter and stroller. I looked at the seated passenger's faces and they looked at the mom but didn't do anything. Hmmm...perhaps they were thinking whether or not they should give up their seats? Or they hope she would find a seat in the back of the train? As I followed behind her to the back of the train, there was one seat available and she quickly took it.

It's weird how passengers tend to look the other way when they see something that they know they should act on. I mean, are they really that tired that they can't give up their seats to someone else? I've seen elderlies, pregnant women, women and men with babies, and even disabled people standing on a crowded bus and no one offered them a seat. People would just glanced and then became intensively interested at a staring spot.

Well, as much as I hate seeing passengers looking the other way when they know they should have better etiquette, making a remark about it would most likely lead to an argument and that's just bringing unwanted attention to myself. With this day and age where most people have video capability on their cell phones, a recording of my argument on Youtube is the last thing I want.

Photo courtesy of About SF

21 comments:

Gratitude said...

Gosh, and I thought these people with bad social graces existed in Malaysia, certainly not your country. It is really sad to know that the current generation has lost so much of "do-the-right-things" in their pursuits to win the race of life.

We are indeed living in the age of degeneration :(
+Anton+

ladyviral said...

in my country, there is alot of this situation here like that. some even pretend to sleep when they see pregnant ladies, old people or even disabled citizens. they afre so selfish... there was once, i was in a train, standing.. and right beside me two seats face to face sat an old lady with her two grand children. the seat can accomodate up to 4 people. eventually they got 3 person and what happened to the other extra seat? it was beign seated by the grandaughter's bag. and she was talking so loudly and snobbishly. mind you she was a child of age maybe 14 to 15.

so, after noticing an old man boarded the train with no seat available... i gave this family some time to react to that. eventually nothing happened. ended up i told them off "seats are meant for humans not your bags, so please remove it so this uncle can have a seat". after the embarassment, she took her bag and gave the seat.

such incident... i was thinking what would happened if her grandmother was in that situation?

Cheryl said...

Unfortunately today some people just seem to not care about each other. How hard is it to extend common courtesy to one another? My children have all been taught to respect others and to extend courtesies to others as necessary. If we all did one nice thing each day imagine how nice it would be! I try to do so each day.

nothingprofound said...

I used to take the subway to school every morning when I was a kid. This was in New York City and the grownups were like wild animals. They would literally start fights over empty seats and no one catered to small children or pregnant women. I literally almost got crushed to death every morning.

Rose Belle said...

@Gratitude - There's alot of myths about the west that are simply false. We have problems here that are prevalent else where.

Rose Belle said...

@ladyviral - Thanks for sharing your story. It was a good thing the passengers didn't become irate and loud when you pointed out their lack of common courtesy. Often times, people get agitated and abusive when their flaws are pointed out to them on the bus. And physical too.

Rose Belle said...

@Cheryl - Yes, pay it forward but sadly, most people don't show act of kindness. It's a rarity today.

Rose Belle said...

@Nothingprofound - Oh, that happens in San Francisco too! The bus drivers don't do anything about it either. If there's a fight on the bus, they keep driving. By the time the police comes, the trouble makers have already fled.

KN said...

I would say public transportation has improved alot over the years. When I was in middle and high school, there were a lot of fights between different ethnic groups on the bus and the bus driver didn't do anything. They just let people fight despite other passengers screaming. Now police response is fairly quickly. There was a recent fight between two ladies on the bus (posted on Youtube) and the bus driver seemed to be oblivious to the fact that there was a fight going one. The bus was still moving. I guess that's way people are not afraid to act stupid on buses because they know they can get away from it. In SF, all the buses have video cameras, but at the last brawl on the bus, the officials came forward and admitted that not all cameras work. Well, that's great to know...

Willie a.k.a Reptoz said...

Geee...pity the mom.

Ebie said...

I am a strong supporter of public transportation. I commute by subway everyday and I make sure i have my bus pass ready!

Rose Belle said...

@Willie - Not just pity mom, I hope people are proactive and show courteousies rather than thinking pity

@Ebie - I am a supporter of public transportation, it's just we need people to have better ettiquettes!

Liz said...

That sounds very familiar. My daughter commutes to and from school. Every day she had a different story to tell about rude passengers.

Ryhen said...

this is called the Bystander effect. the reason why people don't assist others and/or show common signs of courtesy on public places is probably more than just a question of ethics. most people in our world today allow their brains to operate on autopilot and place their rational minds somewhere between the 2 backpockets of their pants. i guess it's quite understandable because our society has become so complicated that we really can't exert more energy to think and follow up with the demands of life. people act like zombies most of the time.

Rose Belle said...

@Liz - when I was commuting to and from school, I see similar but sometimes violent problems on buses too.

Rose Belle said...

@Ryhen - I always learn something new from you. Sometimes I feel people have the monkey see - monkey do mentality. People don't react when they see others don't. It's true what you said about people not wanting to exert more energy in dealing with what's already a full plate on our lives.

Palscience said...

This is only one situation when people don't give priority to women with kids, pregnant women, or even women. Right now i am in the United State and this happens a lot, but in my country women take priority in buses, taxes and any other place there is seating.

Cascia said...

That is sad. People can be so rude sometimes.

Rose Belle said...

@Palscience - That's applaudable that your country puts women and kids first. I wish the U.S. can be like that but that's just wishful thinking on my part.

Rose Belle said...

@Cascia - It is sad that people don't show common courtesy to others but like one of the commenters here said, we are so drenched in our own lives that we don't give much thought to other people's problems.

Dora said...

Oh I hope people will really change their mindset!