Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Bad Habits to Have While Riding Public Transportation

Going from one part of the city to another one is often a long ride that not everyone can tolerate, and we ought to be sympathetic to those for whom a 2-hour trip by train or bus is a daily routine. However, not only we don't sympathize with them, we make their being there more miserable by demonstrating poor manners. Here are some bad habits that people should leave at home before getting on a train or another means of public transportation.

Coughing or sneezing and not covering their mouths. Imagine how frightened a person next to you is: his/her stop is not coming up soon, and you might have a flu that they don't want to catch. It is highly recommended that you cough or sneeze into your elbow, as your hand may keep the bacteria if you don't use sanitizer and don't wash your hands all the time and then spread the illness through a handshake. A good idea is also to use a handkerchief, whether it is a piece of Cleenex or a cloth.

Blowing one's nose and throwing mucus on the floor. It's gross. Would you like to step on something like that? No one would. Carry a napkin, blow your nose into it and hold on to the paper until you find a trash can. If you happen not to have one, keep your nose congested until you get off and find something to relieve it into.

Littering. You know that you are not supposed to eat on the train. Food smells and disturbs other hugry people around you. Yes, there are moments when you do have to swallow your food on the way, but it doesn't mean that you have to leave your rubbish for other people to kick. It happens often that a Snapple bottle is rolling from one side of a car to another one, and commuters push it with their feet. Even though there are no garbage cans in the subway cars, you will always find one at any station; therefore, don't be lazy and dispose of your litter.

Putting a wet umbrella on the seat next to you. Even if the car is almost empty, there will always be someone who may want to take that seat, and it is doubtful that they would want to wipe it with their pants. A good place for an umbrella is below the seat, as if a day is rainy, the floor will be wet anyway, and you will just add up to it.

Taking more than one seat. It's fine if you have a large body, and you do need two seats. But it often happens that a person spreads his/her legs or puts a huge bag on a seat, which prevents other people from occupying that seat. They may be tired, and they would be glad to sit down if your stuff wasn't displayed there.

Producing loud noises. This includes discussing something on the phone two tones higher than normally, snoring, listening to your I-pod exploiting maximum volume and everything else that doesn't let people sleep, read their books or Kindles, or merely think about something pleasant. It is hilarious to see New Yorkers sitting far away from each other and yelling back and forth. If there are no two seats together, stand up close or keep silent until you get off. There is nothing urgent that you have to discuss for all the people in the train to hear, is it?

Verbally abusing or sexually harrassing people. This is inappropriate, and you know it well. Leave people alone: they rush somewhere the same way you are, so let them have a happy ride, and enjoy one yourself.

Here are some useful devices for blocking the noise and being busy with something, so that you won't have to bother other people:


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