Train Etiquette for those Less Travelled

I have decided to masquerade as someone very busy and important on this train by tapping away on my laptop. I am pretty sure however that if my ripped jeans and Primani snow boots don’t give me away, then my David Beckham screensaver will.  Nonetheless, I shall continue in vain, as the gentleman to my right really wants to talk to me – and his breath smells of feet.

I feel that I’ve learnt a lot about train etiquette on this brief four and a half hour journey. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think it goes a little something like this:

BEFORE YOU PURCHASE YOUR TICKET – ENSURE YOU SMELL OF FEET.

WHEN BOARDING YOUR TRAIN – IGNORE ALL INSTINCTS TO BE POLITE AND/OR CONSIDERATE IN ANY WAY. It’s every man (and woman) for themselves. Pushing and shoving are actively encouraged. A swift elbow to the face should render any assailant unconscious. Where possible – arm yourself with a large umbrella / bicycle / Rottweiler.

IF YOU FEEL THE NEED TO HOLD A PRIVATE CONVERSATION ON YOUR MOBILE PHONE (REALLY LOUDLY) HEAD TO THE QUIET ZONE. They’ll love you.

MAKE SURE YOU DRINK LOTS OF FLUIDS BEFORE EMBARKING ON YOUR JOURNEY. You’ll get to experience the delightful facilities that your train network provider has to offer: A door that does not lock, loo roll as soft as sandpaper and a flush powerful enough to evacuate your colon.

BE OVERTLY RUDE TO THE TICKET INSPECTOR. He’s a lesser human being than you after all and therefore doesn’t warrant any courtesy or respect.

MID-MORNING – EAT SOMETHING INTOXICATING, LIKE AN EGG MAYONNAISE SANDWICH. The wondrous odour will engulf your entire carriage and everyone will think you are wonderful for sharing.

IF YOU NEGLECTED TO BRING A SNACK WITH YOU – FEAR NOT. So long as you’re willing to remortgage your house, then the onboard catering staff will happily sell you a Mars bar.

HIGHLY CONTAGIOUS? THEN COUGH, SNEEZE AND SPLUTTER. Do so with wild abandon and without tissues – preferably in the face of someone who is eight foot tall, extremely hairy, adorned with piercings and has “HATE” tattooed across her knuckles.

DON’T HOG YOUR MUSIC COLLECTION. Set your MP3 player’s default setting to maximum volume. If you haven’t perforated an eardrum, then it’s too quiet.  Of course the world will share your love of Van Halen / Mozart / Westlife / Justin Bieber.

WHEN ACCOMPANIED BY YOUNG CHILDREN, ENSURE THEY HAVE NOTHING WHATSOEVER TO KEEP THEMSELVES OCCUPIED. For goodness sake – don’t give them a colouring book, or feed them slices of mango – you’ll only show all of the other parents up. Feed them a giant sausage roll, family sized bag of Haribo, some Monster Munch and a gallon of full fat Coke. That’ll keep them happy. By kicking, screaming and pulling the hair of innocent bystanders they are merely “testing the boundaries” and such behaviour should be commended. Reward them with more sweets. If they do misbehave – also give them sweets.

BE NICE TO THE CRAZY WOMAN ON HER LAPTOP, WITH THE RIPPED JEANS, PRIMANI SNOW BOOTS AND DAVID BECKHAM SCREENSAVER. She’s probably writing about you.

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