Some people never take city trains, and think them either a novelty or something for those beneath them – and some people take them all the time and hate them with a passion. So where does that leave one? A custard’s view is required.
To my mind, you feel hemmed in, and at the mercy of anyone sneezing, talking loudly on the phone, or dropping something on the floor. Really, everyone can’t be at everyone’s mercy – that would make no sense at all. Sneezing in Trains: always a problem for everyone around you. Custards never sneeze. Talking Loudly on Phone in Train: even worse. Even if the conversation is of an un-private nature (which it often isn’t), it still makes one squirm. Custards never concern themselves with phones on public transport. Dropping Items on Floor of Train by Accident: very embarrassing. People briefly and sleepily rouse themselves from their electronic timewasters to look hazily in the direction of the sound. Despite the whirring, roaring noise of a train moving, the sound of an object being dropped inside it cannot be masked. The item’s dropper usually feels too embarrassed to say “sorry” – who am I addressing, anyway? they think– but quite embarrassed at not saying anything, too. Custards never carry anything, so they can’t ever drop things.
Additionally, the people who take trains regularly can seem like quite an intimidating culture when seen altogether in their natural habitat (a train). Most of them are probably not intimidating people in general, but there is something that the sight of many train veterans together seems to say to anyone else. We know what we’re doing, they seem to say, and this is a place for those who know what they’re doing. Alright, so I don’t mean to be unjust to those who take trains often, and I’m sure most, if not all, of them don’t mean to give that impression, but they often do.
Note: This is following on from my previous post – part I of my travel guide. Look out for part III next. Also note: I am not claiming ownership of the picture in this post, and I mean no harm from using it. LC