Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Obsessive or just plain inconsiderate?

Last night, on a very crowded train back to the East Bay, I sat next to a woman with two Chinese take-out boxes wrapped in a plastic bag. The smell instantly permeated through the train. As you know, the smell of food in train, no matter what it is, mixed in with the dirty and musty scent of the train, just stinks. Because I was sitting right next to this woman and her food, the scent was overpowering. The odor was on me, my clothes, my hair, my bag and in the air I breath in.

But that is not it! People bringing food onto trains is very common (not worthy of an online rant). But what made this woman worse was the fact that every 2-3 minutes, and after every stop, she unwraps her white plastic bag, opens up the take-out boxes, looks quickly at the food for a second, and closes it back up, and re-wraps the plastic bag. Every few minutes, she repeats this the bag, open th boxes, look at the food and close it back up.

What does she think is going to happen to the food? Was she checking the temperature? What is going to change in 2-3 minutes? Does she think there's someone invisible eating her Chinese food away?? Was she considering taking a piece out because she couldn't wait? What is her deal???

Whatever her reason was, I didn't care! Everyone had to smell the food again and again just because of her freakishly obsessive habit or her extreme hunger. You can see people cringe each time she opened up the boxes! The more I smelled the food, the sicker I felt. I decided to give up my seat so someone else can deal with the woman and her take-out. I then stood next to the train door so that at the next stop, I can sneak in a quick breath of fresh air finally.

It's bad enough that people do not follow the "NO FOOD OR DRINKS" sign (separate topic but it says no food or drink, not no eating or drinking, so to me, that means you shouldn't even bring food onto the train, although in a past blog, people have disagreed with me), but to open up the food and let the smell leak through the entire train is really inconsiderate.


Anonymous said...

You can't bring food onto the train? That's news to me. I've never heard of a cop citing someone with Chinese take out unless they were eating it. People bring groceries onto the train all the time. I've packed all kinds of goodies from Macy's cellar home with me. How could you prevent someone from bringing their groceries onto the train or their take out dinner? People take BART to buy lunch and bring it back to the office.

If the smell is awful you could move.

bartmusings said...

yes i am aware people bring food, but the food is generally packaged in tupperware, sealed boxes, or raw ingredients they're bring home. they don't stink.

as much as you personally would like to deny it, food on train stinks...whether it's a pizza in a box, chinese take out, lasagna in a paper box...etc.

this woman i am talking about here had chinese take out AND she kept on opening up the boxes to look at her food.

i could move? first of all, the train was jam packed with no place to go. secondly, i did end up moving closer to the door.

there are 3 types of people: the type that bring food and are considerate enough to keep them packaged up, then there's the type that just will not bring food onboard at all because they themselves hate smelling food on BART so they won't subject others to it and lastly, the type that just don't care whether they are eating the food or just bringing food in that they know will permeate the entire train with its smell.

bartmusings said...

btw, i love chinese food but it doesnt smell good in a jam packed train.

Anonymous said...

This seems much ado about nothing, honestly. Food on BART does not stink. It just smells like food.

bartmusings said...

a small complaint, i agree. i can't help to not like the smell of food on bart. i know there are some people who agree with me out there!

Anonymous said...

I will take the food smell over all the damm perfume that most women feel, they have to bathe in. GEESH.......

Anonymous said...

Sealed food would be fine. This bit about looking at it every minutes is freaky, but still preferable to the smell of someone who hasn't bathed in a month.

Still, you are right to complain about the smell. I'm guessing the train was pretty crowded, otherwise you could have gone to another car.

Anonymous said...

If I needed to carry Chinese food on a train in a bag, I would have the restuarant give me a few extra bags so I could seal it the best I could to get the lowest stink factor.

But if there was a Chinese place close where I was getting off, I would just wait til I got there and get my food then.