.Subway Creatures: How not to be an Asshole on the Train.

To get to work and school in the morning my son and I take the subway daily. The subway is a great place to observe but it can get creepy at points, too. Just in case, common sense is not so common to you, here is the Ultimate Subway Etiquette for you. Two months of subway-observation and I am happy to share this list. Enjoy!

  1. Let people get off the train before you get on.
  2. The top of an escalator is not a great place to have a conversation.
  3. When you lean against the pole on the train, nobody else can hold on to it. Just don’t block others from being able to access things.
  4. Don’t seat-hog: Your huge purse or bag does not need its own seat on the train.
  5. I understand you really like that song, but everybody can hear you singing even though you have earbuds in.
  6. The subway platform is not a great place to ride your skateboard or scooter.
  7. Don’t spread your legs extra wide so nobody can sit next to you.
  8. I don’t understand how people sitting on the train get the sudden urge to clip their nails (even toenails, g-sus!), floss their teeth, shave their head, tweeze nose hair (sometimes not even their own), or pop their lover’s pimples. Just don’t do it on the train.
  9. Don’t smoke on the train; also no e-cigarettes.
  10. Don’t watch porn (with or without headphones!) on the train. Reading the book “I love Dick” is okay though.
  11. Be respectful and empathetic.
  12. Wear headphones if you watch a movie, the news or listen to music.
  13. Speak quietly on the phone. It is not a megaphone. Also, nobody cares how much sex you had last night and that it was aaaaaaaaamaaaaaazing. Especially not my son.
  14. Don’t spit on the floor. Don’t spit pumpkin seed shells on the floor. Don’t spit any seeds!
  15. Don’t litter. Take your garbage, newspapers, coffee cups and whatnot with you when you leave the subway.
  16. Eating: This is almost the most hotly debated and controversial subject. Maybe eating a sandwich wouldn’t bother someone (well, it depends what is on it!). Eating a plate of spaghetti on the subway is not okay. Also, no Chinese take-out. Just use your best judgment here. Nobody wants to smell dried fish (wth!?) at 8.30 am on the subway. Or anything fried. There was a woman on the train this morning (she triggered to finally write this post) who was slurping and smacking on a whole stinking Tupperware of reheated seafood lasagna.
  17. Give up your seat when appropriate. Don’t be an asshole about it. Offer your seat to pregnant women, elderly, women with kids or the ones with a broken spirit.
  18. Don’t put on make-up on the train. Unless you want to poke your eyeballs out with your mascara.
  19. Put your huge newspaper down when it is very crowded on the train.
  20. Please take your eyes off your phone/book/newspaper for just a minute as you exit the train. Especially during rush hour! Don’t be a mindless zombie! When you are exiting the station, please wait until you are done climbing the stairs before you start using your cell phone again. When there is a steady stream of people filing up a narrow staircase nobody needs you slowing things down even more while your nose is buried in your cell phone. This is what you do: Put your phone away, look up and walk up the stairs at a normal person’s pace.
  21. Don’t put your feet on the opposite seat. Also not if you take off your shoes or socks. People, I am not making this up.
  22. Don’t be a seat martyr and say things like, “I know you are in more need of this seat but you will have to work/fight for it!”
  23. Cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing. Don’t pick your nose.
  24. Don’t pick scaps on parts of your body and play with the blood.
  25. Don’t transfer into a statue when people try to get by. Look at people; pay attention.
  26. Don’t brush your teeth on the train. I cannot believe I had to actually type this.
  27. Wear deodorant or take a shower before getting on the train. Don’t stink.
  28. Keep control over your kid(s). Don’t let them take over the train.
  29. Don’t push your way into an already crowded train.
  30. Don’t be a PDA (public display of affection) couple. I am not talking about a kiss or holding hands. I just don’t need to see you groping each other while his hand is in her pants. Do whatever you want in your own time but not on the train. I am not the sex police.

The train is not your private place, so don’t act like it. This list is by no means exhaustive. I guess there are even more things you can do or avoid to make the next train ride a good one.

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