Subway Hacks – Errata and comments roundup

Never in my life have I written an article as controversial as Subway Hacks. People seem to have taken it the wrong way, and this is probably the fault of my writing. Some clarifications are therefore needed:

  1. I’m a nice person – I often help old people open doors and carry grocery bags for them. I also most often offer my seat in the bus or subway to the elderly, the sick or to women(be they pregnant or not). But occasionally I DON’T WANNA – I want to enjoy the trip a bit. It doesn’t make me a jerk, just an ordinary passenger. Young people may be feeling sick or tired as well, while some elder people may be feeling better than them. Off course, anyone who is not sick, old or pregnant and occupies the seats in the bus or train that are specially marked for them is a jerk and should be warned so, fined or thrown out of the train. Me, I never sit there.
  2. I don’t use to talk to strangers in the subway – it’s weird at the least. But I met some beautiful girls this way. I also think that people are a bit too afraid of each other – socializing is good – it all depends on the circumstances.
  3. I don’t encourage people to be jerks, push others around or take others’ space. But I also don’t like it when others do it to me. And, man, this happens all the time in the crowded subway trains around here – over expansive guys that take one seat and a half, squeezing me like I was furniture; business guys whose briefcases hit me occasionally. No, I don’t think being a doormat will help fix this – using their weapons against them will. My tips – be the alpha male and mark your space are therefore to be used wisely and only when other methods don’t work. Don’t be a jerk – instead, help fight the jerks.

These being said, let’s take a look at the most useful comments I had on the subject:

Red says to “go to sleep”. This might work in Japan, but at least in Europe, you risk waking up without your wallet and miles past your destination.

Rasti warns you how to spot pickpockets in Barcelona – Be cautious if you see a group of 3 or more people (generally male) trying to look casual and unconcerned but blocking your way out from the train when there is a lot of empty around.

Phill says that Please take bags off and keep the between your feet – it makes more space yet the wider legs ensure space. It contradicts what I wrote, but it makes sense and minimizes the chance of being robbed.

Malcolm has great tips on the London subway – go to the end of the train and open windows; plus, the obvious, if your destination is close, just walk.

Kevin Bracken suggests to take a job slightly off-hours. You get to avoid the rush hour and get to work and back home more relaxed and in less time. When you take a new job, you could ask, for instance, what their policy is towards the working hours – if it’s flexible enough, you could try this.

Matt says that, as a frequent commuter, he learned which car has the most seats. So.. keep on eye on patterns.

Lizzybee recommends Noise Canceling Headphones and preparing your exit – start moving towards the door one or two stops before the destination.

Tymian writes :

I can see what he meant with the assertivity, though. I no longer give in to people pushing into me- I used to move aside or squish against the wall to let them pass, but what would happen all too often was that the person would move up next to me instead of further down. And I’d be stuck in the weird position I took just so they could squeeze past me. Not funny.


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