1. The seat-rushers.
As soon as the doors open, they rush and scramble for the seats. Train etiquette is as good as a foreign language to them. We live by the rules of first come, first served. You snooze, you lose. They don’t care if you have a longer ride than them, they don’t care if you’re carrying a heavy bag full of items. It’s theirs because they got there first. Too bad, too sad.
2. The ones who test the boundaries of personal space.
These ones take up all the space they can get. Give them an inch, they’d take a yard. Your personal space is always disregarded as they push to get closer and closer to you. Off-peak hours are no exception. They push to get in the packed train, they push to get closer to the seats in the hope of someone vacating them soon enough, they push to their benefit. It’s absolutely distasteful.
3. The one constantly on the phone.
If I’m on the way to work in the early morning and still half-asleep, I usually plan my long (45 minutes) train rides from home to work at a corner carriage hoping to get a wink or two. I have no issues with the people who need to do their work on their phone or answer important calls on the train. However, I hate the ones who scream on their phones underground or blast their music out loud on their speaker phones. Not only do I wake up from my slumber in a shock, I also tend to get a headache afterward.
4. The body-odor killer.
Usually male, his arms are raised to grip the hand bars above while standing in front of you. With exposed armpits, an unrelenting stench seeps through. It smells like a mixed breed of toe jam. It’s unbearable, really. I mean, haven’t you heard of roll-on deodorant?!
5. The hormonal women who look pregnant but aren’t.
In my home country, we have two to four reserved seats in every carriage of our train meant for supporting the elderly, disabled, and pregnant. It has become such a controversial topic as people grumble as to whether people should be able to occupy the seats when no one else needs it more at the point of boarding.
It was a tiring day after work as I sat on the reserved seat. A woman in her early 30s with a big belly and flat-soled shoes stood in front of me, gripping the railway. I graciously got up and offered her my seat. Instead of accepting my offer, she screamed angrily at the top of her lungs, “I’m not pregnant!!!” I was horrified and sat back down on my seat, wondering what the right way to address the situation was or if it could have been handled better.
6. The pole-leaner.
The pole is meant for everyone to hold on to when the train moves for balance. It is not a convenient location for you to plop yourself on, denying everyone of traveling safely on the train. Someone could fall as they lose their balance! Have you thought of that?
7. The busybody who peers over your shoulder.
They read your messages or you playing “2048” on your phone as you observe them from the corner of your eye. They linger on your screen no matter how much you turn your screen away or how much you glare through the reflection from the opposite side of the glass. I can’t believe they think I don’t notice.