Once upon a time bus rants were a regular feature of this blog. Having to catch the bus was a frequent frustration of mine. I mean, no-one really likes having to rub shoulders with that many strangers in the morning before they have even managed to have a decent cup of coffee, do they? Especially not in the Winter, when it’s still dark, and you’re quietly suffocating in that damp, unventilated space while all the while the rain lashes against the windows… Yeah. That sucks. Still though, as much as I loathed and despised it, those bus journeys often provided me some pretty good blog content. I mean, who could forget the girl who had no shoes? Or that time I awkwardly got in the middle of a couple’s Facetime sesh? Those there stories were blogging gold, and if I’m 100% honest, there is a tiny piece of me that misses those curious events now that I don’t have to catch the bus (it’s a reeeeeally tiny piece though, just so you know…)
While having to get the bus everyday is now a distant memory, I do still have to catch the train sometimes, and this has opened up a whole new world of strange new people. You would think bus people and train people are the same, right? No. True, there is a similar trend of people generally being a little too familiar, oblivious to personal space and regularly having what sounds like a very private phone conversation at an unnecessarily loud volume, but they are like an all new breed of creature to me, and for no real reason at all everything they do inexplicably pisses me off. Like, induces a burning, irrational rage in me. Still, it gives me something to write about I guess…. Recognize any of these people?
The Aimless Wanderers
The problems start before you even get to your platform, because train stations seem to be chock full of indecisive people with nowhere to be. To be fair, most cities seem to be full of indecisive people with nowhere to be, but they are particularly annoying in a train station. I have a tiny bit of empathy for those that just can’t seem to decide where they need to go, because most likely they simply don’t actually know, and I’m aware that I’m normally just being a crabby, impatient bitch. But the ones I really can’t abide are those that just seem to have all the time in the world, so much so that they can’t tear their eyes away from their phones to keep an eye on where they’re going, and consequently get in everybody’s way at every opportunity. Particularly, it seems, in front of the ticket barriers, which sneak up on them like a complete surprise, meaning they then stop dead in front of them for what feels like an age, fumbling around for their ticket! PAY ATTENTION KIDS! PEOPLE GOT PLACES TO BE!!
The Ticket Barrier Optimists
Almost as annoying are the people that try said ticket in the barrier, only to find it doesn’t work. I don’t hate on everyone this happens to, because it literally can happen to anyone – in fact I have completely irrational anxiety every time I approach one because I convince myself my ticket won’t work. No, it’s specifically the people that then try that same ticket over and over again, as though by some stroke of magic it will suddenly work. Spoiler: It never does. And I normally miss my train as a result.
The Seat Stealers
Once you board the train the pain doesn’t stop there, because now you have to find yourself somewhere to perch. Most of the time this will be literally any corner you can squeeze into, but on the odd day when it’s a little quieter, you might be able to find a seat. That is, of course, if your fellow travellers aren’t being complete selfish douchebags who sit on the end seat of a row, making the other seats inaccessible without climbing over their laps. I like to punish these people by ‘accidentally’ clonking them on the head with my oversized handbag on the way past… I’m not the only one with an oversized handbag, though. Lots of people love their oversized handbags so much that they feel they deserve a seat far more than their human counterparts! Let this be known though, sister, I love handbags as much as the next girl, but don’t think I won’t drop kick it down the aisle if you fail to move it upon my polite request….
The Space Invaders
If you are unlucky enough to be travelling at rush hour, then getting a seat is really just a pipe dream. But don’t be fooled into thinking that this means you won’t still have to battle for your place. Space it at a premium on rush hour trains, and there are some particularly annoying people who will try to take every last inch from you. Is there anything more irritating than being shouted at to ‘MOVE DOWN THE CARRIAGE’ when there is literally no where to move to?? You have eyes, don’t you people?? Mind you, there actually are some people that seem to think the only place they could possibly stand is right in front of the doors, so I guess you can’t blame them for trying.
The Agitated Travellers
Finally, there are the Agitated Travellers, and this is possibly one of my most irrational dislikes of train travel. See, I’m not a great traveller. I like arriving at my destination, but everything leading up to that equals one thing – stress. I worry about everything. Losing my ticket. Missing my train. My seat reservation not existing. Falling asleep and missing my stop. The train being struck by lightning (all of these things have actually happened to me BTW. Yes, even the lightning). So I could really do with everything else being serene and zen so I don’t lose my shiz. Of course, train travel is rarely like that, and I always seem to be sat next to someone who is 10 times more angst ridden than me. They twitch, constantly check their watch, ask every passing person if they are on the right train. They start tutting and sighing as soon as there is a delay, and get into a huge panic if there are more than a few people in their path at their destination station (even though all those people are also waiting to get off the train!) I don’t know what it is, but something about the way they hover over the exit button waiting for it to light up, as though it’s a buzzer in a gameshow and there might be a million quid resting on it, really puts me on edge and starts to drive me nuts! It makes me start to feel panicky too and I just can’t bear to be around them! Of course, this is where it’s completely irrational, because I probably am one of those people.* But what can I say? I get meaner with every passing day. That’s what years of travelling on public transport can do to a girl!
*LOLZ. Of course I’m not one of those people! I am the chillest, coolest girl on any train. Obvs…