Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Rule of Silence (part 2)

I seem to have been misunderstood by readers! "Unspoken rule of silence" entry has apparently upset a few people because they don't understand why I'm so "snotty", "antisocial", or "rude" when people are just trying to be friendly to me by offering me advice or striking a conversation about a destination I'm about to visit.

I don't ignore these people who are offering me their tips and memories of Prague! I do acknowledge them with short responses like, "cool." I just don't like it when people ask me about where I'm staying, what I plan to do there, what the weather is like, when I'm going, how long, and itty bitty details about my personal trip! Especially since they are strangers, I really don't feel like getting into a conversation about this, or anything really.

They say, "Oh Prague is the most beautiful place! You'll love it", I say "cool." They say, "You have to see X palace," I say "yeah." Isn't that polite enough?

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Allergies and cheap cologne

As I am writing this entry, my nose is completely plugged up, red, and my eyes, dripping with tears. Yep, morning allergies. What made my ride even worse today was the overbearing smell of cheap Walgreen-brand equivalent cologne that the man next to me was drenched with. There were 4 other seats open when I sat down, and during the whole ride, I regretted taking the one that I was in.

The scent was nasty- it was like a very poor combination of "fragrances", that can only be sold in drugstores. It was a smell fit for a greasy, sweaty, and portly hick (the NASCAR-branded cologne comes to mind...can you believe they actually came out with a NASCAR cologne?) Each time I breathed in, my nose would itch so hard that it hurts, followed by a deep, hard sneeze. I was sneezing nonstop during the ride, attracting many glares from fellow passengers.

It was a rough ride to say the least.

Friday, May 19, 2006

The unspoken rule of silence

Passengers seated on BART generally don't talk to each other, and people prefer it that way. I know I do. On occasions, when BART is really uncomfortably crowded, we make one-sentence comments to each other, like, "it's going to be a long ride", or "don't think it could get worse than this." And even more seldomly, people would ask me, "is that a good book? I've been thinking of getting it." I would then say, yes or no, followed by a one-sentence reasoning. I don't mind yes/no questions so much, as long as they don't have a follow-up question.

I generally don't want people to talk to me. I've been reading a travel guide on Eastern Europe (book is called Travel Guide to Vienna, Prague and Budapest), and for some reason, it has drawn a lot of unwanted conversations. People would ask me, are you going to Prague? I would bluntly answer, YES, and think to myself, "duh, it says that on the book" and wish that they won't talk to me anymore. Then, they would volunteer comments like, "oh it's beautiful there, you will love it!" or "Oh, I always wanted to go there!" or "make sure you see X or X". vSome people would even go a step further and ask me, "when are you going?" or "where are you staying?"

Don't they get it? I don't want to talk to them! I don't want their opinions and I don't wish to share my travel plans and details with them!! The worst part is, people who try to start conversations are usually the less normal (don't want to say abnormal) passengers.

I see people with Spain or France travel guides and I don't ever bother them and volunteer my personal travel experience! BART is just not the place to have conversations. If they need travel tips, they can go to Tripadvisor, Frommers or whatever! They don't need it from a complete stranger.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

A few changes to my BART ride

Wow, it sure has been awhile since my last entry! The past couple of weeks have been full of changes. I now live one stop closer to SF, making my ride 5 minutes shorter, but coincidentally, I've returned to my old job, extending my ride by 5 more minutes, dropping me off smack in the middle of the drug addict, alcoholic, and homeless central, also known as Civic Center BART Station.

For those of you who have read my blog from the very beginning, these tales might sound familiar. Yep, I'm now hopping around "puddles" again in the morning. No, not rain puddles, but urine puddles! I am now again at the mercy of BART delivering me on-time in the morning so I can catch the connecting shuttle to work....the very company shuttle that inexplicably has a 30-minute gap between pickups during peak morning time (when I arrive), yet just 15 minutes during all other times!!

But who am I to complain? A new home and a happier workplace. Besides, with my horrible morning allergies these days, I can't smell the pee and barf all around the station's exits anyways.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Another inconsiderate behavior on BART

Just when I thought I had pretty much listed any and every possible inconsiderate passenger behavior on BART, a new observation took place to me that put me back to reality.

In the middle of a crowded morning train, a man seated near me took out a gold nail clipper and started clipping away his fingernails!!! Even worse, he didn't make ANY attempts to catch the sick clippings, or try to lower his nail cutting position to a more discrete angle. He was clipping away one by one at at chest-level while the rest of us watched his clippings fly away like ticks, one after another. It was sickening.

I would have said something but I was actually seated in back of him, so I wasn't directly affected by the clippings. I was also too tired to cause a scene, but even any of the nail clippings landed on my body, I would probably have yelled at him instantly.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Inspiration on BART

I saw something inspirational today on BART. A man, probabably in his 40s, a plumber, painter, or construction worker of some type, based on his attire, hands/fingernails and accompanying toolbox, was intensely studying algebra on BART. He had a small notepad on one hand, a huge algebra textbook on his lap, and was solving equations one after another. He was concentrating hard, and never looked up once.

Maybe he's studying to tutor his kids, maybe it's just for personal reasons to prove to himself that he can tackle any obstacle, or maybe he's studying to complete his high school degree, whatever the reason may be, I have a ton of respect for what he's doing!!