Sunday, 10 April 2011

Stuffing your face on the bus? DON’T!

I have already written about my issue with bus drivers. But let me now turn my focus of derision to my fellow passengers. Up until a few weeks ago I only had minor complaints when it came to my brothers (and sisters) in arms. We were all in it together, battling our way to work; negotiating delays, rude drivers and the maniacal passenger who had us all staring determinedly into our laps.

But now all this has changed. The reason? The incessant need by a frighteningly large proportion of public transport-partaking society to eat their greasy, noisy and unnecessary food in front of others. I have been tipped over the edge by a particular incident that needs to be recounted in full for the enormity of the problem to be fully understood.

I have been on trains and buses before with people eating. It’s always been annoying. And I have always muttered to myself a rant about the decline of manners, public decency and that surely people could wait the 30 minutes until they got through their front door before they started to mindlessly stuff themselves (which don’t get me wrong, I too enjoy doing – just in private).

A few evenings ago, I ambled onto the bus home. I opened my book and delighted in the fact that you can read on public transport – another reason why cars are rubbish. Anyway, just as I started to read, a family  – I repeat, a family – with parents present, got on. I looked up and saw, aghast, that they were all carrying a very recognisable brown paper fast food bag along with the equally recognisable drinks containers with straws. No problem, I thought to myself, it’s only 6.30pm; they obviously live nearby and will tuck in once they are at home. Don’t discriminate against those who have to use the bus as a drive-thru vehicle, I said to myself. I tried to get back into my book.

And then it started. Slurp, gulp, much, snort (yes, it sounded like snort), slurp, gulp, munch. F*$k. I knew this was going to happen. The rustling, the slurping, the talking with their mouths full, the total absence of swallowing one mouthful before starting another, the sheer bloody rudeness of EATING IN MY EAR. And the stench. I personally love said brown paper bag fast food chain – there is no better hangover cure – but I appreciate that just because I am enjoying it, doesn’t mean everyone around me is.

What really got my goat was that the parents’ manners were horrendous. I mean, no wonder the children were a lost cause. Do people not know how to eat properly these days? Also, do they not know that eating in public is actually quite rude? By the time I got off the bus my blood pressure (aka internal rage gauge) was so high that my boyfriend thought that he was at risk of being murdered as I lashed out during the come down.

So, I’m back in the car. Purely for health reasons, you understand. Read more by Naomi