I've been riding BART--Bay Area Rapid Transit, the commuting-oriented metro system that connects the East Bay and San Francisco, for you out-of-towners--since I was 11, and since it took me all of, oh, two days to absorb most of the subtleties of BARTiquette (who gets on a train system for the first time and doesn't
read all the signage and look around carefully to figure out what the rules are?), I'm always a little shocked when people are uterly oblivious to the most basic courtesies. Exhibit A: A train has become standing room only, and four health-looking people, all clearly below the age of forty, stay in their by-the-door seats when a blind man
and a petite, frail white-haired woman with a cane
get on the train and flail about as it lurches forward because, amazingly, no one has offered them a seat. A senior-looking person on the other side gives the blind man a seat, but the elderly lady is left standing and looking very afraid. I did my best and offered her my hand grip. I'm still mad at myself for not telling someone seated to offer them seats. In addition to having to overcome my usual mild-mannered-Saheli mode, I was so shocked and suprised it sort of paralyzed my speaking abilities, and my station was next. I need to learn to be less reflexively polite.
Oh, and parents of small children? It's not funny when your child grabs my phone out of my hand. I'd appreciate it if you'd be a little faster in making them give it back to me so I don't have to contemplate the indignities of wrestling a kid for it. And not laugh as much while doing it.