Sunday, 8 July 2012

Wouldn't it be nice...if public transport was more friendly.

By that I of course mean the people on it, not the actual transport! This comes from travelling many times on the bus and trains throughout my life, and from realising that I've only ever had a handful of proper conversations with people. I'm not suggesting randomly striking up conversation with every person you ever meet (everyone will think you're as nutty as a Snickers bar) but niceties shouldn't go amiss. I will admit I'm a very smiley person and so if I catch eye contact with someone I will most of the time give them a little smile. I normally get one of three reactions to this: 1. a return smile; always lovely, 2. a look that I am insane; eye contact is hastily lost as is the smile, and 3. absolutely no reaction at all. It's the third one that bothers me the most. I don't really care if someone I'm never going to see again in my life thinks I'm a bit loopy for smiling but it's people who purposefully reject that little bit of happiness that I don't quite understand. Smiles are meant to be, and normally are, infectious. So you really have to be quite a miserable person to knowingly reject that little injection of happiness into your day.

I've had a few memorable interactions on public transport that I want to share. The first one happened when I was on year 12 work experience up in London so I, obviously, was commuting. It was an extortionately hot day to be on a packed underground train and I was pressed up right againist the doors as we were zooming through the underground. It was at this point that the doors, that I and two other women were pressed up against, started to open. Now I doubt this has happened to many people but being pressed up against doors on a moving underground train as they open is really quite terrifying. Then a giant of a man jumped to our rescue! He moved all three of us out of the way and stood arms stretched out in front of the doors to ensure no one fell out. The train stopped, the doors shut again and the journey contiuned but that man stood like that the whole journey along the line back to the station. So there is lovely story number one. Lovely story number two happened on a bus in my university town. It was a very crowded bus but I'd managed to nab a seat after a long day on campus so I was happily resting my feet when an elderly couple got on. I of course knew I was going to give them my seat but saw next to me a very sullen looking young man who I thought, with a slight sense of dread, "Oh no...I'm going to have to ask him to move for them because I don't think he's going to do it himself." That was not a conversation I was looking forward to. I really should learn to not judge a book by its cover. As soon as the couple got on the bus we both simultaneously stood up and offered them our seats. They were incredibly grateful and proeeded to chat to us for the duration of the journey. I've had some strange conversations on that bus though. My friend Hannah and I did seem to attract the slightly odd ones of the world and they liked to talk to us, but hey ho the bus journey was never a long one so it didn't bother either of us!

I'm not entirely sure where I was going with this blog post but basically I think people should smile more!

Bye for now :)

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