Spotted: Eccentric Sights On The Morning CommuteBy Abigail T
Remember the morning commute? Standing up, holding on to the strap suspended on the ceiling in a packed subway train. Sardined with so many other people in a crowded bus, on the way to the office. Waiting for the bus to come, praying it doesn’t start raining because you have your best outfit on. Thanks to the pandemic, commuting on public transport elicits a lot of anxiety. Many folk aren’t using public transport unless they have absolutely no other option. Having stayed home for a year, many have probably forgotten that public commutes often come with hilarities and not just misery. Let’s look back at times when the morning commute brought ridiculous stories, told by none other than our favorite Internet users on Twitter.
In an effort to reduce plastic waste, a lot of stores worldwide have imposed the no-plastic rule. This rule has been around for quite a long time now, and it requires shoppers to bring their own reusable shopping bags into the mix. But sometimes, there are other ways to carry your shopping.
Whatever works, right? As long as this guy still has a way to carry his bananas around, whether it’s by holding them or by placing them on his head. If anything, keeping his bananas on his head this way is definitely entertainment for everyone else at the station.
You come across some unique individuals on long commutes. Most of these people’s behaviors would be considered a little concerning. You’d probably think it best to stay away from them, and most of the time, you would be right.
We feel bad that this person had to sit through an entire train ride smelling fish in the air. But we’re glad that they sat opposite the lullaby singer because they gave us this bizarre tale. If only they had taken a video of it!
Not a fan
To each his own. If someone else’s preferences are different from yours, it doesn’t mean they’re wrong. It just means they like what they like. Tolerating others’ interests is just something you have to learn to do if you want to live harmoniously.
Well, this guy on the platform has made his feelings about the author Terry Pratchett very clear. What’s the lesson here? Don’t read a book in public? Or don’t read Terry Pratchett in public? The answer is neither. It’s “read what you want.”
Too slow for the train doors
Oh, dads. They truly are the real heroes. This dad drove his kid to the station to see them off to Leeds but ended up traveling up with her! We know this wasn’t his intention, but thanks to the quickly closing train doors, he actually had no other choice.
Consider the train journey to the Rugby a morning adventure. In retrospect, it would have been ok if this dad had actually been properly appropriately. Traveling to the Rugby and back in fluffy slippers might not have been great for him.
Sir, that’s not your phone
Some days, you get so tired of not having enough money that you yell at your wallet, begging it to produce more cash. At least that’s how we’re rationalizing the following situation on a bus commute. This poor man was probably just having an awful day.
Or he could also be a little unstable, in which case it’s probably best to stay away from him. It’s always sound advice to stay away from any agitated person in public. Do what this Twitter user did, and tweet about it instead.
Lengthy commutes call for some snacks. Most people choose crisps or a sandwich for the journey, maybe a soda or a can of beer. It’s generally a pet peeve for everyone if someone in the carriage eats a hot meal. But what @lateofthepete saw was much worse than that.
Eating with one’s hands is common in many cultures, but coleslaw is not one of those dishes you eat in this way. It’s very off-putting to have to sit next to someone eating slaw with their hands. Honestly, we would have gotten off at the next stop and gotten on to the next train going in our direction.
Mind the gap
If you’ve ever traveled the London Underground, you’d be familiar with the loudspeaker reminder to “mind the gap.” Maybe you thought, “that gap is so small, nobody’s going to fall into it.” But never say never, because you’d be surprised.
This Twitter user got a front-row seat to somebody actually falling into the gap. The victim must have been so thin to be able to fall through. Lucky for him, people managed to help him out and even saved his briefcase before the next train pulled up at the platform.
If you’re familiar with the classic Luc Besson movie Leon The Professional, you’ll know the significance of his potted plant. Even through the raids and the shootings, the potted plant survived till the end of the film. That’s what this next commuter’s haul reminded us of.
Imagine if this tree on the train to Central London was Leon’s plant which Matilda planted at the end of the movie? It’s grown a significant amount since we last saw it, and it’s now making its way across the country to be replanted elsewhere.
Blue cheese enthusiast
Cheese is the ultimate comfort food. You can put cheese on practically anything, and the dish will taste ten times better. You can also eat cheese on its own. But if you’re going to, we suggest not doing so on public transport.
As delicious as it is, some cheeses do have a bit of a stink. Most notorious of these is the blue cheese stink. You can like blue cheese and eat it in chunks, but at least have the decency to spare other people the smell! And the sight!
No time for breakfast
Before the days of working from home, where you can join a meeting with your video off and have breakfast while tuning in, people had to make time for breakfast—at least a quick bite before they head out the door.
This girl on the Jubilee line clearly just never has time for breakfast then. What’s astounding is that she would eat out of a bowl in a jolty tube carriage. We’re surprised she never once spilled milk on her work clothes.
No time for breakfast, part 2
Here’s another person who had breakfast on the train. He clearly had the time to boil an egg, but he just didn’t have the time to eat it. Maybe he was already running late and wouldn’t have time to eat it at the office either.
It’s questionable to be eating a hard-boiled egg on the tube. But to be peeling the shells and collecting them in a handkerchief seems a little unrefined. Guess not all men who wear suits are prim and proper.
Sensitive to scents
Wash day always makes you feel like a queen afterward. You have freshly washed hair; it smells and looks great. Naturally, you would want to flaunt your mane, and you totally have a right to! But this Twitter user’s proud moment was cut short.
Maybe the lady who shouted at her was just jealous of her beautiful hair. Or maybe she is just sensitive to scents and was annoyed that she had to share a mode of transport with someone whose hair smelled too sharp.
If vampires perish at the sight, smell, and touch of garlic, then this man from the next commute must be trying to repel vampires. Garlic tastes great when cooked, but the thought of eating raw garlic is actually pretty sickening.
We’re trying to find a positive in this occurrence, but we’re struggling. It’s such bizarre behavior. If we were this Twitter user, we would be baffled, but we would also find it really difficult to look away. Some people are just intriguing.
Not during covid
The coronavirus has made us all clean freaks. We sanitize everything before touching it, and we disinfect all seats before sitting down. If the lady below were to behave the way she did now, she would definitely be catching covid.
As for this cat person, we find it hard to believe that the lady who licked everyone’s hands isn’t the same as this cat person. Were they filming the movie version of Cats in this tube carriage? Or is this lady just a big fan of furry hats?
Pooch on the loose
It’s always lovely when people bring their pets onto public transport. It doesn’t matter if it’s a bus or a train or a tube. Seeing a dog or a cat in the carriage has the ability to make anyone’s day.
It’s even better when the dog’s shenanigans create fun for the whole carriage. We know this Twitter user was mortified that the entire train wanted to chase after her dog. But the Labrador seemed to be having so much fun!
Completely normal behavior
The subway seems to be the place where the kind of behavior normally considered abnormal becomes overlooked. For proof, look no further than all the things we’ve mentioned in this article. But if you still need to see how people excuse just about anything on the subway, see below.
We don’t know which is funnier. The woman falling asleep on the shoulder of the man next to her, or the completely unfazed man. By the looks of it, he probably has business to take care of, which was way more important.
You know those girls Zoom night where you dress up, eat snacks, and drink wine? That’s what this next commuter is doing, except instead of over Zoom, it’s over the phone, and instead of in the privacy of her own home, she’s on the tube.
Maybe she was heading out somewhere else but didn’t want to miss out on all the fun. Maybe she just wanted to catch up with her friend. Or maybe she was just in the mood for wine and crisps. We just don’t understand the part about the crisps mountain.
Just being nice
We don’t know about you, but we absolutely hate when people try to start and then hold a conversation throughout our commute. Whether it’s the person next to us on the train or our Uber driver, we would rather endure the journey in silence.
This story only shows that we’ve probably been doing the right thing. Entertaining strangers’ attempts at conversation can result in either a really good thing, like actually meeting The One, or a peculiar thing, like being offered a suitcase full of rock mints.
When you have no cutleries on hand
Sometimes you’re just so hungry that you can’t wait to eat your food at home. You just have to eat it on the way back. But what happens when you can’t eat your dish without a spoon or fork? Well, this guy on the bus had just the answer.
This is pretty bizarre. But at least he isn’t eating the potato salad with his hand like the guy with the coleslaw. As long as that credit card was sanitized and disinfected before being used as a spoon, we think he’ll be okay.
Eggy dog farts
What’s with people on public transport and hard-boiled eggs? Are there no other snacks? Here are a few of our recommendations: crisps, apple slices, grapes, carrot sticks, celery sticks. These are overall things that don’t create a stench in the carriage.
It’s bad enough that the carriage smelled like eggs because of this woman. But it also smells like eggy dog farts! We have no doubt that her Jack Russell terrier was a cute dog who behaved well. But the farts. We cannot deal with the methane in a closed space.
Murderer on board
Sometimes, people’s behaviors on public transport are unusual in an eccentric way. And then there are behaviors that are unusual in the slightly concerning way. For example, someone wearing a large jacket who has been looking around the carriage suspiciously for the last ten minutes.
Or a little girl around the age of four who is slowly writing the word “KILL” with her fingers on the condensation on the bus window. This feels like a scene out of a horror movie. Twitter user Nico Reznick would be the protagonist, the only person who notices this strange behavior and gets creepily stared down by the little girl as she tries to alert the authorities about it.
Now, this is one train journey snack we’re not going to complain about. Some sweet tooths pack candies and gummy bears for the train ride. Others pack a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. This guy brings a full-sized Viennetta on board.
How the dessert didn’t melt on the journey is beyond us. Maybe he ate it so fast that it had no time to melt? Either way, we’d be okay sitting next to this man. Unlike everyone we’ve mentioned beforehand, his food doesn’t stink!
Like humans, pets also get antsy when they’re not fed on time. This guy in Sydney is just being a responsible pet owner and feeding his little lorikeet. We wonder if he specifically bought the burger for the bird or if he intends to share it.
By the looks of it, the woman next to him is traveling with him. She’s munching on her McDonald’s like it’s totally normal for her friend to be on a train feeding a burger to a bird. Honestly, she looks about just as hungry as the lorikeet does!
An odd combo
Here’s an explanation for context, in case anyone doesn’t know what a Werther’s Original is. It’s a caramel candy brand that is pretty popular in Europe. Over the years, the candy has developed more variations, like butter candy and creamy filling. The point is, it’s candy.
We’re genuinely concerned for this guy. Firstly, Werther’s candy is a choking hazard, so the fact that he can swallow the entire bag whole is insane. How did he not choke? Secondly, caramel and Sprite? That’s a combo we’d never try.
Time for dinner
If you gotta eat, you gotta eat. Hot meals on a train are a pet peeve for a lot of people, especially when it’s a long journey. But when people get hungry, and there’s only hot food available, they’re going to get eating.
We’re imagining the train carriage magically turning into a Hogwarts Great Hall. Everyone pulls out a whole chicken from under their chairs and starts eating. Totally normal behavior. To top it off, there are bottles of whisky in the middle of the table.
Not during covid, part 2
Kind strangers are always a breath of fresh air after a long day. Sometimes strangers would even offer you food, like a mint or some crisps. Or even a tub of pasta like the stranger that this Twitter user came across!
Unfortunately, sharing food with strangers is something we wouldn’t even consider doing pre-covid. Can you imagine eating pasta out of the same Tupperware with a stranger now? Paranoia would get the better of us and send shivers down our spine before we could even politely refuse.
Used to it
Ah, yes. The notorious draft of an oncoming tube train. It’s taken with it scarves, important pieces of paper, train tickets, and hats. If a particular item of clothing is essential to your outfit or your journey, you’d be pretty bummed if it blew away.
This guy has traveled the tube so many times that he knows this occurrence might happen again. So what did he do? He travels prepared. We’d love to know how many spare flat caps he has in that bag of his.
You know those times when you’re on the tube minding your own business, thinking nothing can go awry? And then something happens that proves that you couldn’t be more wrong? Well, this next commuter knows precisely what that feels like.
Lesson learned: you can’t choose where you end up sitting or standing on a packed tube, but you can definitely wait until you arrive at your destination to eat your yogurt. How awkward must this situation have been for both of them?
Just getting lunch on the way
Bus drivers work a tight shift. Sometimes, they might even have to choose between lunch or a short toilet break on really busy days. So it makes sense that the following bus driver would create a routine to make sure he still gets his three square meals.
Making an everyday routine and involving the local taco shack is great. We love this entire exchange! It’s so efficient and benefits both parties equally. Bus driver gets lunch at the same time every day; taco shack earns a loyal customer.
We’re all just pining for our youth. Those days on the playground when we would climb up the monkey bars and hang upside down with our skirts over our heads. As we get older, we’d take any opportunity to feel like a child again.
This may have happened 15 years ago, but we’re pretty sure it would happen in tube trains and subway cars today. It’s hilarious that this man was dressed in a proper suit. Wonder what had gotten into him. How long do you think he was hanging there for?
On the way to work
You’ll see a lot of weird things on the commute. The unwritten commuter rule is not to stare. Just mind your own business, however ridiculous someone might look. This Twitter user came across a guy in a bunny suit at the tube station.
This guy is probably just on his way to work, where he’s a mascot promoting Duracell batteries. But wait. Isn’t Energizer the battery brand with the bunny mascot? Or do they both have bunnies as mascots? Either way, just move on and don’t stare!
If anyone remembers the beginning of the TV show Friends, then you’ll understand this reference. Rachel Green was a runaway bride at the beginning of the series when she met the rest of the Friends gang at Central Perk.
While this is a popular TV trope, we can’t help but feel sad for this bride. Whatever the reason was for her leaving the altar alone, it’s a lot worse that she had to take public transport. She definitely felt everyone looking at her and wondering what went wrong.
Now, this is top-tier parenting right here. It’s Bring Your Daughter to Work Day, but you didn’t have time to feed her breakfast, so she’s eating cereal on the go. Little girls usually don’t have the dexterity to hold their own bowl and eat out of it while walking, so what does Dad do?
He puts his daughter on his shoulders and allows her to use his head as a table. If this isn’t resourceful, we don’t know what is. As long as the milk from the bowl doesn’t spill down his head, it’s a pretty good solution.
Hardboiled eggs again
There seems to be an obsession with munching on hardboiled eggs on train journeys. Whether it’s on tubes, busses, or trains, you can bet you can find someone eating hardboiled eggs. It’s unfortunate that this popular snack also stinks a ton.
It may be acceptable to eat hardboiled eggs in public, but the problem with eating them on trains is that it’s such a small space. The fart-like smell pervades the entire carriage. Paired with the motion of the train, it can be not very pleasant.
In a rush
Ever been on a plane journey where you have to get to an event when you land immediately? Getting on a plane is a hassle in itself, and you may not have time to clean up before the flight. So what do you do? You clean up during the flight.
Having no time is no excuse to shave in your seat. If this man needed to shave, he should have shaved in the airplane bathroom like a normal person. We feel sorry for the flight attendants who have to clean up the mess after the passengers have disembarked.
The kind drunk and the clumsy drunk
Coach journeys may make you feel like you have nowhere to escape. At least if you were on a train, you could move to another carriage. But there really is no need to move when the drunk people on your coach are actually nice enough to offer you Jaffa Cakes.
The kind drunk convinced the clumsy drunk to join him in offering Jaffa Cakes to the entire coach. But even the kind drunk was too drunk to notice that the clumsy drunk had been left alone at services. We hope the other guy found his way home okay.
Don’t drink and drive
We don’t know how many times people can hear this phrase over and over again, but it seems like a lot of them still need to hear it. Don’t drink and drive! No matter how high you think your alcohol tolerance is, don’t get behind the wheel if you’ve had a pint.
You should certainly not get behind the wheel while drinking a pint of lager. Everyone on the road better steer clear of this guy. Wouldn’t want to be involved in a car accident. Dear everyone, save yourself and others. Stay off the roads if you’ve had a pint.
When you’re the first person to own a new piece of technology, you’re never going to shut up about it. You’ll bring it around, make sure everyone sees what’s in your hand. You’ll be really annoying about it to be sure everyone knows you’re cool.
That’s probably what this guy was trying to do with his new Motorola. This was back when it was the size of a brick instead of a tiny razor. It’s actually hilarious when you think about it. What’s the use of having a phone if you don’t know how to answer a call?
Bin bag commute
“I’ll take the bins out,” says your wife before you leave. “No, honey, it’s okay. I’ll take them out on the way out,” you tell her. You collect the huge bin bag and walk out the door. But you walk straight past the bins and towards the train station.
You only realize your mistake when you’re halfway through your train ride, sitting next to a huge bin bag smelling like trash. The entire train carriage is giving you death stares for bringing such a foul scent on board. You can’t do anything about it until you reach your destination.
Time for a walk
On this time around, on Pets In Public, we bring you the most enigmatic animal travelers have seen on their commute. No, not a dog, not a cat, not even a lorikeet eating a burger. Drumroll, please… it’s an owl on a lead!
Who knew owls needed walks too? It may seem weird that this guy put his owl on a lead, but it might be the smartest thing anyone has done. Imagine what would happen if the owl flew loose? This guy is just making sure he doesn’t lose his pet owl.
Still on the subject of pets on public transport, here’s another person who took his pet on a train trip. This time, it’s a rabbit! How adorable is this rabbit on a lead? It’s not as bizarre as an owl on a lead. If anything, it makes sense to use a lead.
Carrying the rabbit around in your arms is just a hazard. It could jump out of your hold at the station and hop away. Or it could hop around in the train carriage and disturb the other passengers. Seeing as this rabbit is headed to the big city, it’s best its owner keeps it at arms length.
Hot water bottle
There’s suspicious behavior, and then there’s purposely seeing every behavior as suspicious. We hardly think there’s anything weird about a man holding on to a hot water bottle throughout an entire train ride. Maybe he was just cold, and the bottle was keeping him warm.
Maybe this man just wasn’t thirsty until they pulled into Euston. Maybe he had to provide urine samples for a doctor’s test in London and wanted to be sure he could do that in time. You’ll never know what was going on.
He’s just cold
Speaking of people being cold on public transport, here’s someone who decides to handle the cold slightly differently than the hot water bottle guy. He’s wearing not one, not two, but three hats. The cold really is cruel and spares nobody.
Maybe this person was just wearing all his backup hats on his head, unlike the guy a couple of tweets ago who kept his extras in his bag. If one hat gets blown away by the wind, he won’t have to worry. He can carry on knowing he still has two more hats on.
It’s not every day that you see a real-life superhero in action. Whether you’re Team Marvel or Team DC, you’re still going to appreciate seeing Spiderman in real life. Even if he is waiting for a train on the platform of Waterloo Station.
You would think Spiderman wouldn’t need public transport. He’d just swing around the city, spewing his web. Even if he did need to commute, wouldn’t Peter Parker take careful precaution to disguise himself? Maybe he has his regular persons’ clothes in that overnight bag.
Sir? There’s an iguana on your head
Alright, who’s gonna tell this guy that he’s been walking around with an iguana on his head? No? We’re all just going to stay quiet and post photos of him online instead? Okay, that sounds like a really good plan.
If this is actually his pet iguana, we’re very impressed. The fact that he trusts his iguana not to run away just shows that the owner and pet bond is there. However, it might be a bad idea to be traveling with an animal like this in public, as it could scare some people.