As promised, here is the next exciting installment of my ‘how to be a better train passenger’.
Last time I talked about the basic actions that should be undertaken by all to ensure a smooth seating procedure. This time I am going to talk about behaviour, specifically what NOT to do on a train. Disclaimer: all but one of the following have happened to me…
Don’t have super loud conversations
An oldie, but a goodie. Let’s get this straight. No-one, except the person on the other end of the ‘phone, is interested in Aunty Mabel’s gallstone operation, the deal you nailed, the boy who may (or may not) be that into you or the general minutae of your life. It sounds harsh, but it’s true. Keep it down, or even better, go out into the corridor. And god help you if you are in a quiet carriage with me and you attempt any of the above.
Don’t paint your nails
I love a painted nail as much as the next woman, but nail varnish stinks! Particularly in confined spaces. Have some consideration for your fellow passengers’ olfactory comfort.
Don’t bring your avian pets
It may be legal (although I do query that) but it is weird and it is extremely disconcerting to the person sitting opposite you. Placing a squawking budgie in a cage on the table and then checking it obsessively every five minutes because “…it seems a bit upset” is very disruptive to fellow passengers.
Don’t jam all your bags under the table
The racks are there for a reason; to enable you to quickly and effectively store and access your belongings whenever you want, while keeping people space clear. If you can’t lift it up there (although you all seem very able-bodied to me) then I can help you. Jamming your bags under either means that your legs and feet have to be in my personal space or your bags are in MY personal space. Neither are acceptable. Oh, and the corridor is not a luggage storage area. Large bags go in the very convenient luggage rack at either end of the carriage.
Or at the very least, don’t vomit at someone’s feet and ruin their brand new laptop bag. If you get on a train feeling unwell, make sure you take yourself off to the loo when nausea strikes.
Don’t talk to me
Sorry, but my headphones are in my ears and I am tapping away on my laptop for a reason. And that is not to have a chat with you. I am working. Don’t get me wrong, I am happy to exchange the time of day with you, agree to look after your stuff while you go to the loo and I will even help you identify your seat number or kick out the person squatting in your reserved seat (see my previous post: All Aboard! Part One) but I am not going to chat with you for the entire journey.
I appreciate that the above makes me sound like a moaning minnie; on the whole, I really don’t mind my three-hour train treks up and down the country and I really am a very positive person, but if even one person reads the above and changes their behaviour for the better we will all be happier travellers as a result.
Next time on All Aboard!: The pros and cons of cheap tickets and where to buy them