Metro Musings

Traveling via public transportation is always an interesting experience. Some days more than others. Delays, traffic, etc are normal occurrences but the things that make commutes long and awkward/uncomfortable are numerous.

First, you have the awkward starer: a person who you can tell is staring at you throughout the entire ride. You glance at them to let them know "Hey, I know you're looking at me. So cut it out" and they look away quickly. Then a minute or so later you feel their eyes on you again. Gah. What makes this worse? When you transfer to another train/mode of transportation, sighing in relief that you have escaped....only to turn around and see them on there with you. Again. For more awkward staring. (This entire situation happened to me on Thursday which totally prompted this post.)

Second, you have the annoying teenagers. They seem to have the loudest volume known to man (do not seem to own headphones, so we all get to listen to whatever they are listening to), have no cares that their cussing/discussion/stupid conversation is being overheard by everyone in the vicinity. Blasting  music, making out....there are a ton of options. None of which are fun to be around.

Third, you have the people who take up more than their fair share of the seat either with their bodies, or with all of their crap.  Like these:
Really? You're in a suit. Put your feet on the floor.

Yeah, you definitely look like you need BOTH of those seats...

Move your stupid bag!!!!

Uhhh, put your shoes on. No one wants to see your feet, smell them, or sit in a chair where your feet have been. Gross.

Fourth, the people who are panhandling for money on the metro/subway car. I give them credit--it's at least a decent idea when you have people who are stuck with you inside of a moving train who can't escape, to ask them for money. This makes it nearly impossible to walk away from or pretend you didn't hear like you can on the streets.   Making it that much more insanely uncomfortable and awkward. To top it off, even if I WAS in a giving mood, I'm not one who enjoys busting my wallet out on the train. Especially on the lines that I ride on (for you DC peeps, the yellow and green...enough said).  Personally I had never seen pan-handling on the subway until I started commuting into DC for work last year.

And, a funny story from my own personal experience:
When I was commuting into DC for grad school, I used to take an early early train to get to my 8am class. Most mornings you encounter some of the same people who take the same trains, etc. Well, I encountered this guy who had Down Syndrome and always wore a Redskins starter jacket (yes, I said starter jacket). One day he sat down next to me, in this DEAD SILENT metro car (everyone is sleepy and quiet in the mornings), and starts chatting me up. I kind of converse with him (in a whisper) and then get off at my stop.
A few days later I see him get on the train and sit down. Then he sees me, gets up and comes over to sit down next to me. He starts talking to me about how he broke up with his gf because her mom got mad that he would call the house all the time (and at this point we are pulling into a stop, the doors are opening, and people are starting to get on the train). And he goes (really loudly): "She picked up the phone and goes "STOP CALLING ME!!!"  ..................insert a bunch of people looking at me awkwardly.  My friends dubbed him my "metro boyfriend."
Then the next time I see him, a few weeks later, he sits down next to me and tells me how he is going to get his gf back. He says 'I'm going to sing her a song I wrote and it goes like this: 'I miss you, Amanda....I miss you.'" I sit there awkwardly waiting for the rest of the song. Nope, that was it.
The NEXT time I see him get on the train, I put the newspaper up, he sits down next to me, and I see him peering behind the paper, trying to get my attention. I ignore. And that was the last of Redskins starter jacket guy. Thankfully.
I know that he was an individual with special needs, and in general, I did not have a problem with him. But, it just made my morning commute to grad school more stressful (and believe me, I was stressed enough as it was).

There are a plethora of other douchey and annoying things to encounter on the metro/subways/public transportation, but this post can only be so long. Have you encountered any interesting people on the subway?

Luckily, today, I am public transportation free, and will be for the next two weeks. Woohoo vacation!!!!


  1. Once on the train during rush hour, a man was yelling at his wife on the phone, shouted he's filing for divorce, and then hung up the phone and proceeded to rant about his soon-to-be-ex-wife to whoever would make eye contact with him. It was truly akward!

  2. I find this post so interesting since I have never lived in an area that had this really. The town I graduated from didn't even have a stop light! I am glad you have a vacation! Enjoy friend :)

  3. Hahahaha oh goodness, I totally have encountered ALL of those people on the bus here in Cleveland. Seriously, people have no respect for their personal space, or anyone else's for that matter. I used to hate when college girls would get on the bus and put their backpack on the seat next to them in the HANDICAPPED section toward the front and then act all PO'd when a senior wanted to sit there. I also saw an Asian gentleman sit down in the front, and a few African-American teens get on a few stops after (they weren't loud or annoying, but teens nonetheless). One sat right next to him and he promptly got up and stood toward the middle of the bus instead of sitting next to her...and they all laughed. I thought it was extremely rude...seriously dude?! Whatever. And we had plenty of weird people on the bus...I had a guy try to take a PICTURE of me one day, I was wearing the most conservative outfit ever and he was creepy. So weird, but good stories I suppose!


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