Lend me your ears. It is not enough, apparently, that we must suffer the legendary MARC commuter service twice a day. No. We must suffer also each others' company. Most folks do so in a good-natured silence. But I can be silent no more. So I hereby give voice to all of our darkest thoughts about our fellow commuters.
First of all, let's be honest. All of us would rather not have to share a bench or the cafe seats with anyone, unless they are those friends and/or colleagues you actually do look forward to seeing and chatting with for whatever reasons. But the people who THEY look forward to seeing and chatting with just may not be your cup of tea and, well, there is little within the bounds of polite social discourse that can be done. Face it, the man who first said "Any friend of yours is a friend of mine," was lying through his teeth.
So you do avoid these awkward moments. Over the years you have come to recognize the attributes and habits of your fellow commuters that will allow you to do so with relative ease. Are you (am I?) one of those passengers whom others avoid? Here are a few clues:
1. Do you, upon boarding, feel you must be a one-man fashion show? Standing next to your seated fellow commuters (perfect strangers) while carefully removing your outer garments, which you then gracefully fold and gently lay upon the overhead rack. You are civilized, after all, unlike the unwashed next to whom you are about to sit. You seem oblivious to fact that you are partially blocking the aisle while normal people are trying to board the train and find a seat quickly without holding up the rest of us.
2. Do you prepare and consume meals on the train? Like the sartorial circus act, there are a few passengers whose eating habits are just plain gross. One in particular combines the likable qualities described above with the need, every evening, to prepare and consume a tossed salad. After neatly folding and storing his garments he will begin extracting a small garden pantry from his back pack; various cut vegetables and croutons stored in separate baggies, a large plastic bowl and a full-size bottle of salad dressing. I watched in that combination horror\wonder we reserve usually for car accidents as he prepared this salad careful not to over do any one ingredient and to carefully re-wrap and replace the extras for tomorrow's train salad. Then I had to watch him eat it.
Please feel free to send me (firstname.lastname@example.org) your favorite annoying passenger or passenger habits! I can't do this myself!
This should be a warning to all MARC commuters: you never know when a blogger is watching and itching to describe you to a 'T.' So if you feel like you resemble some of the remarks, lighten up, laugh at yourself and maybe try to be a bit more considerate of your fellow MARC victims. remember, we're all in this together, literally.
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