During the course of my days, I often find myself asking the same questions over and over again. So befuddled am I by people's habits and actions, that all I can do is ask why? Driven to the point of frustration (usually a short drive for me), I've decided that the time has come to share just a few of my Frequently Asked Questions, in no particular order. Many of them have to do with train/train station behavior, as this is when I tend to do most of my observing.
- Why do people feel that it's acceptable to listen to every ringtone on their cell phones while sitting on a packed train? - It's bad enough having to listen to cell phones that are actually ringing all the time because someone is calling, let alone having to put up with the fool who thinks that we all want to hear "Take on Me" in the often-indistinguishable language of "ringtonese". Don't be surprised when someone rips your cell phone from your hand and throws it out the train window into a field somewhere, and don't be surprised if that person is me.
- And speaking of cell phones, don't people care that they are sharing personal details with the entire train carriage/bus/service taxi/etc.? - Frankly, I do not want to know about your evening plans. I do not care about what Lilach said to Tomer, nor do I need to know how Tomer responded. I'm not interested in what happened at your workplace, and I can certainly do without knowing that you are having trouble with sewage pipes and that it's causing your house to smell like a cesspool. Oh, and while I don't have a problem to discuss medical issues, I really don't need to hear about yours. Thanks for sharing, but no thanks.
- Good for you for choosing to take the stairs instead of the escalator, but is it really necessary for you to walk in the middle of the stairs so that no one can get by, studying your cell phone intently while you creep along, keeping those of us with more important things to do from reaching our destinations? - Think of the stairs and escalators like a highway. Choose one lane and stick to it. If you're gonna go slow, please stay in the right lane, and let those of us who are clearly more aware of the outside world than you are get to the top or bottom before it's time to turn around and head in the other direction.
- Those of you who suddenly stop in place while walking in a crowded area – why? – Are you not aware of the fact that people are all around you, all trying to move forward? Do you not realize that not only will people crash into you, but also into each other as they try to move around you. Seriously, what’s it like in your world, where only you exist?
- And for those of you who like to stop in place, is it really necessary to do it as soon as you step off the train? - Do you not realize that you’re causing a traffic jam for those of us still trying to get off? Think, people, think!
- You’re going through a turnstile – not one of those that you’ve got to pop your train ticket into in order to enter or exit, but those big ones that you go through when entering or leaving the station itself, that usually only turn in one direction and have additional metal slats that keep you from circling all the way around. You know, the ones you’d secretly like to climb up and swing through like a kid if no one was watching. There are people behind you, entering each little cubicle area so that they, too, may enter or exit the station. We’re all walking through at the same pace. Why do grab one of the bars to stop the turnstile so that you can step out? Are you an idiot? – Seriously, do you not realize that by stopping this miracle of efficiency that you are causing three other people to get smacked from top to bottom with metal bars? Oh, and to the ultra-Orthodox guy who actually joined me in that very small space, what the hell was going through your mind, and how did you manage to not break purity laws by not accidentally touching some part of my body? Neat trick!
- Those of you waiting to get on the train. Do you really think you’re going to get to your destination more quickly if you push your way on while people are still trying to get off? Do you think you’ll lose your edge if you step aside so that those attempting to step down can actually get off the train? – As long as you don’t let me get off the train, I’m not letting you get on. I’ll go to the next stop if I have to, just to complete that mission and see you suffer, you aggressive little shit. I’ll let you in on a little secret. I’m actually crazier than you are, and I’ll bet my fuse is shorter. Don’t try me, buddy. Inconveniencing myself just to put you in your place would make my day.
And people say train travel is boring…