Life and Other Funny Things

Things That Happen On Trains

I’ve been riding the train a lot lately. It’s been fun; you get to meet so many interesting people. Things function differently in a train than they do with any other kind of public transport. It’s like a whole world of its own in there. Things that happen on trains:

  1. You will touch something gross. You won’t know what it is, you won’t dare look though. You’d rather not look than spend the rest of your life knowing what you touched. The only thing you can do is wipe it away discreetly. A good place is under the seat where the next passenger can find your little surprise and the cycle can continue.
  2. You will make awkward eye contact with people. You look up, they look up, your eyes meet, and you both look away immediately. Those are the rules, don’t you dare try to change them.
  3. You will make body contact with someone. If you accidentally sit on someone, just say thank you.
  4. You will have your privacy completely violated. People will stand too close to you, they will read your texts and try to figure out who you’re sending them to. Your every facial expression will be scrutinized and they’ll create a whole background story for you.
  5. You will sit next to a Talker. This is every passenger’s nightmare. The Talkers are very clever. They’ll seek you out just as you’re least suspecting it. You think you’re safe, but you aren’t. Sometimes the seat next to you will be empty, you silently cheer on the inside celebrating your luck, but the Talker’s buddy just got off the train and you’re the next victim.
  6. You will wonder if you have some sort of force field around you. Somehow you lucked out and didn’t get harassed by the Talker. You’re ecstatic! But then you realize that passengers are almost avoiding you. There’s plenty of room right next to you but nobody seems to want to sit there. You spend the entire ride trying to figure out what it is that they don’t like about you. Do you smell? Do you have something on your pants? Are you giving off a creepy vibe? What could it be?! Force field
  7. You will overhear the weirdest conversations. People talk about the oddest things on trains. Dogs’ bowel movements, the exact color of the mole on someone’s sister’s cousin’s butt, and why someone’s boyfriend said what he said and what he meant by it.  Listen closely though, you never know what you might pick up. Sometimes it’s like an intensely dramatic soap opera. I may or may not have gotten a hot stock tip.
  8. You will hit someone with your bag. You’ll even turn around to apologize, hitting someone else in the process. Thus begins a vicious cycle, and you’re the train’s new ‘problem’.Bag Smack
  9. You will get up thinking it’s your stop when it really isn’t. After that all you want to do is DIE of embarrassment.
  10. You will give up your seat by accident. You’re a good, kind-hearted person. You’ll give up your seat to someone who needs it; that includes senior citizens, little kids with broken legs, and pregnant women. That’s great, good for you. But what about that awkward moment when a woman looks pregnant but maybe isn’t? What do you do? Do you get up? If you do, and she isn’t pregnant, you’re an ass. If you don’t, and she is pregnant, you’re still an ass. You get up, she isn’t pregnant, you’re an ass AND you get to kiss a stranger while standing up during the rest of your commute. Which brings us to:
  11. You will kiss someone involuntarily. Sometimes it’s not so bad. You laugh, the other person laughs, and you both part knowing that your streak of not having been kissed for three months is finally over. Other times it just feels like going mouth-to-mouth with your great aunt with the lip wart and chin fuzz. Cross your fingers and hope that the accidental kiss happens towards the end of your commute. It gets really awkward when it happens just as you get on the train, and then you’re not sure if you should move to the other side of the compartment or just stand where you are trying not to make eye contact with your new buddy. Perils of Riding in a Train
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79 thoughts on “Things That Happen On Trains

    • The force field happened most recently. For two weeks I tried to dodge Talkers, privacy invaders, and people who sit way too close, and then one day nobody would sit next to me. I spent the whole ride wondering what on earth happened. I couldn’t decide whether it was a good thing or a bad thing. It hasn’t happened since though, I should have enjoyed it while it lasted :P

  1. I don’t take the train much, but I do take the bus everyday so I’ve experienced most of these. Once the bus stopped suddenly and a woman flailed out to keep from falling and she grabbed my crotch. That was awkward, although I’m not sure which one of these that falls under. At least body contact.

  2. #9 definitely. Being a foreigner, I’m yet to master the native language, the accent makes it 10x harder.
    Also weird conversations, there was this girl who talked through out my 20 minute ride to campus about the devilish good looks of the new janitor.

    • Have you ever had that conversation where the other person is talking animatedly in another language and you have no idea what he or she is saying but you nod politely and try to make it seem like you understand because the person has been talking for 10 minutes and it’d be rude to tell them after so long?

  3. Love this! I walk to work but even that has its problems like when you realise you are walking at the same speed as the person next to you and you don’t know whether to speed up or slow down or just give up and go home so you don’t look like a weird shadow person…think teleporting might be the only answer! x

    • I don’t know what to do in those situations either! I used to take my car to work, and once ended up driving behind a car for 3 miles because the both of us just happened to be going in the same direction at the same speed. He was giving me some really weird looks in the rear view mirror. I almost wanted to take a wrong turn just to make it seem like I wasn’t a creepy stalker.
      Yes to teleporting!

  4. Seven years riding the bus into work, a lot of this applies.

    how about “the most embarrassing song on your ipod will be heard because your earphones aren’t that great and/or they will pull out of the player for everyone to hear ‘Disco Duck’ broadcast across the bus”.
    :-)

  5. One of my favorite pastimes is listening for bits of random conversations, on buses or trains or just walking through a crowd. You can hear the most interesting things, and then they walk away and you’ll never know what that was about. Ah, the mysteries of life.

  6. This is all very entertaining but fortunately I leave the driving to me !! At least at times we can drive nude, don’t think it would pass on the train but then again all of the above might have new meaning!!! lol ;-)

  7. I especially hate when you accidentally have sex with someone when you’re crossing between subway cars — sheesh! :D — hahahaha! haha?

  8. Nice one!! I like the first thing. Although it has not happened to me yet. A few observations:
    1. You will touch something gross
    2. Your privacy violated.
    3. You kiss someone involuntarily
    4. You make body contact and awkward eye contact.
    It is hence called ” riding ” the train ;)

  9. I don’t live in a city with trains so I’ll never experience any of this. My commutes are filled with near-death experiences at the hands of inept drivers and music turned up so loud my ears nearly bleed while I belt out the lyrics.

  10. Tehe, I think I have only ever been on a train once or twice in my life time. Thank goodness for cars. I love the little cartoon things you make. If you don’t mind me asking, how do you make them? :)
    P.s. I promise I wouldn’t steal them or anything :P

    • After riding the train now I’ve developed an all new love for cars. I still turn into the Hulk when I’m driving though :P

      I draw them in this ancient software called CorelDraw, and I make the gifs on makeagif.com. So glad you liked my cartoons!

  11. I love overhearing conversations, I put my headphones on and turn the music off so I can listen without bring too obvious, I even sorta shake my head as if I were dancing, when in fact I’m totally immersed in the conversation. I’ve never kissing someone on a train. When it happens I hope is someone cute and keep kissing lol

  12. When I was a young woman I too took the train to my first real job. Little did I know that the annoying noise coming from the seat next to me was the man pleasuring himself under his news paper. Oh…yea…the train was a joy.

  13. These same things happen at most coffee shops, too. Except the accidental kissing. That hasn’t happened. Accidental S&M or body modifications, sure, but never kissing.

  14. Train seats just FORCE people to violate personal space. Ecch. And I don’t even want to KNOW what any sticky substance is on the seat. Gum, I hope. Least of bad options. The other week I was on a train and wished I DID have a force field around me. Also a gas mask. Don’t ask…

  15. Dear MISSFOUREYES,

    I just love what you do here so much. Thank you. Humour is so important in life. I know it isn’t everything… but I don’t ever want to give it up. You can ask Jesus, he’ll vouch for that about me.

    -Soul Walker

  16. I ride the bus every day, and the train quite often, and I’ve seen much of this. I can’t help but look at other people’s phone screens if they’re right next to me- I’m that guy. I also smile at small dogs all the time. (This is Germany. People bring their dogs *everywhere.*)

    • Sometimes I’m that girl too! Even with the best of intentions, my eyes just sort of automatically wander towards their phones. Fascinating stuff on there sometimes.

      Also, I gotta ask, why not smile at big dogs?

      • I’m not a dog-sizeist, if that’s what you mean. I just tend to like little dachsund and terrier sized dogs more than labs or great danes and the like. I’m the same way with cars- I prefer a midsized sedan to a monster truck. ::shrug::

  17. I don’t travel by train so much but to a bus commuter some of your observations strike a chord. One depressing situation I often encounter when heading in to work is finding myself perched on the edge of a seat, clinging to the seat in front, as the vehicle turns a corner because the alpha male next to me refuses to desist from giving a crotch display. Legs apart, regardless of the discomfort and danger to others.

  18. hahaha hilarious! tell me about! I can relate to every single point except that I’m a bus guy. In my country, riding a bus is a complete adventure. Drivers believe they’re in a constant F1 race, you’d be sitting in the bus hoping to arrive in one piece. Awkward situations are what makes it interesting especially the other day when a man suddenly started to insanely bang on his chest and choking, I was frightened and had to finish my commute on foot. very nice post. :)

    • I don’t know, being in an F1 race kind sounds like fun! It’s fast, it’s thrilling, and it gives you a good adrenaline spike. What more can you ask from your morning commute? :)

  19. These are all so freakin’ awesome! Just yesterday on Calgary’s C-Train (they got so creative with the name lol) I sketched a familiar face in the surprisingly opaque condensation on the door window. As I stood, riding face to face with her, the features began to drip, starting with eyes. There I was, standing in the emotional void of the train, watching myself begin to cry…

    Tragically, sharing a spontaneous moment of poetic humanity is virtually impossible on a train. On any form of public transportation, the line between poetic and crazy is pretty much nonexistent! Ah well, thanks for giving me a place to share the story :)

  20. So true! Except perhaps kissing. I wouldn’t know about that. Also, you will be glared at for trying to have a conversation with a friend. Some people want absolute silence.

    • Aw man, there is no escape from the talkers is there? Sometimes I try to annoy them back, talking in sentences that are so long that they almost never end. What could be more annoying to a talker than not pausing to let them speak right? Nope, didn’t work. I ended up exhausting myself instead while the talker was super charged up as always.

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