Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Keep your eyes on your own reading material

On BART, I am sometimes guilty of looking over someone's shoulder to check out today's headlines or quickly glance at the title of someone's book but I DO NOT start a conversation with them and make it known that I am sharing reading material with them.

This morning, the man sitting next to me was a bit too chatty for my morning mood. I knew he was reading my US Weekly (yes, guilty pleasure, helps me get through my BART rides) magazine but I forgave him for it, I mean, people do that every so often, and I understand that the trashy headlines attract second glances!

But he didn't stop at that! He pointed and touched the picture of Eva Longoria and Tony Parker in front of the Eiffel Tower and said, "Heck of a wedding site, isn't it?"

I didn't want to be rude, so I responded with "Yes, very nice," and hoped that he would just leave it at that. But he continued, "Have you been there? It is incredible. Can you imagine getting married there? Only some people can do that."

I said, "Yes, I've been, it's nice. Didn't get married there though." I flipped the page to end the conversation there. He then said, "Have you been to the top?" I sort of pretended I didn't hear him.

Then, after 2 minutes, he saw a photo of Britney Spears looking trashed and said to me, "These young celebs are so irresponsible." I just nodded and flipped the page again to a "beach wear". Finally, the final straw came. He said, "That's an interesting article isn't it?"

AHHHHHH!!!! Leave me and my magazine alone! I don't feel like discussion every article with you!!!!

I got up, pretended I had to get off at downtown Oakland and switched to another train. I don't mean to be anti-social but I just want to read my mindless magazine and get on with my day. I do talk to people sometimes when appropriate-- like when we all have a comment about a TO's whispering, or the depressing weather. But isn't it bad enough to have someone blatantly looking over my magazine but to also comment aloud on every page?


Anonymous said...

My favorite is while I'm reading tax material they pose a question relating to their own tax return.

Josh said...

I usually read the paper on my morning ride, and very often my seat-mate will be reading at the same time. It always makes me feel a little awkward when it is time to turn the page. Once, somebody was bold enough to ask for the section I was reading... no, not after I has finished, but when I had just started looking at it. I guess there was some article he just HAD to see right away. I reluctantly handed it over, but was very annoyed. I think that I'm too nice sometimes.

Anonymous said...

Try reading the new (and final) Harry Potter book ...

bartmusings said...

concordcommuter- i can't believe he had the nerves to ask you to turn the page! how rude!

Anonymous said...

Most days I wear my headphones, even when I'm not listening to anything just so I can "politely" ignore this kind of rudeness.

Anonymous said...

When I worked in SF I used to take the Vallejo Ferry to the office. Now, I work somewhere else and take BART. Please someone tell me this:

Why are people more social and conversational on the ferry, but on BART no one talks to each other, if you do talk to a stranger, then people think you are a looney!

Anonymous said...

re: Ferry vs BART:
I think part of it is the atmosphere of the ferry, and the fact that people can easily move about, get a coffee, or even a beer in the afternoons, etc. If you find yourself talking to someone that bugs you it's an easy thing to mill about an leave that person. For tourists the ferry can be a destination itself.

On BART it's much more crowded. You're not likely to move much, or be able to get away from someone if they bother you. You also occasionally get homeless or wackos on BART that I don't think you do on the ferry. Most people on BART just want to get the ride over with. Because of this people tend to develop coping mechanisms such as reading or listing to music and really don't want to be bothered by strangers in a crowded train car.