Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Train Etiquette

I would just like to say that, like so many people out there, as a daily commuter I feel like I have crossed the threshold into a savage way of living. I mean, you would imagine using the rail would be like, say, crossing the Atlantic on a plane, but it is not. You get general respect on planes, because for most people a journey by air is not so everyday. Travelling on the train has unleashed a new me, and getting back to my ancient roots as a means of survival, like elbowing people to get into the train first and find a nice couple of seats on my own like a hunter and gatherer in the cave times of old has awakened my senses into that kill-or-be-killed mentality.

So I would like for it to be said that we need some train etiquette in our time. It is unwelcomingly intimate enough being shoved up next to a complete stranger that smells like BO someone and having a very sweaty man breathing down my neck for forty-six minutes in the morning and then twenty-six minutes in the afternoon, however! Our daily commute can be saved and perhaps even enjoyable. Here are my ideas:

1. Please do not save a seat just for your laptop. I am not arguing the fact that your laptop is your lifeblood and so important that you cannot imagine losing it. But do I have to draw the line at you sighing in that resigned kind of way when I (very politely) ask you to move your computer so I can sit down.
2. Please do not be a space invader. I do not appreciate having to be smooshed against the window when you feel that you might be, I don't know, taking up too much space? Let's all enact the Personal Space Rule: Like in an elevator, you don't crowd someone into the corner if the whole rest of it is empty.
3. Please do not try to talk to me when I am trying to read. Especially in the morning. I do not talk before I've consumed any caffeine. It is not personal. It is just a fact of life.
4. Please wear deodorant.
5. Please keep children and animals under control.
6. Please keep yourself under control.
7. Please keep your voice (while on the phone to your mate about Friday night plans ad infinitum) under control.

All of these very simple steps can really help make the experience, I don't know, maybe pleasurable? Maybe at least bearable?

I am just thankful I don't need to talk about the Tube. That would have to be a whole other blog post.

Now that we've gotten this out of the way, let me talk about a few of the things I've gotten for my birthday recently and how they have and will change my life! These are the things that make me happy!

Out of this pleasant mish-mash of thoughtful gifts (beautiful fuzzy duck feather cushion included, set of four, so cushy I just can't believe it) I have received Auddrey Niffenegger's latest novel Her Fearful Symmetry and The Writer's Handbook 2011. Both of these are informative and inspiring for anyone who loves to read and write. Niffenegger's known for her very ultra-famous The Time Traveler's Wife and this book has been the most widely sought-after novel after publishing houses found out she was working on it. I am about halfway through it now and it is, of course, eye-opening and moving.

And with the help of The Writer's Handbook, I have all the latest updated information for publishing houses, literary agencies, and such that are all UK based but also publish in the US. There are very useful articles about how to develop your work and help you find the right place to publish and generally make your craft the best it can be. Good stuff!

And so, for those of you who do have to commute daily, remember, a good book can help you get away when you need it most. Whew!

No comments:

Post a Comment