Funny we were addressing the back-packs in my last newsletter.  I just got back from Europe, Budapest to be exact, and since the alcohol limit is zero, I took public transport throughout, unless someone gave me a ride or I took a taxi. This is what I have found:

Their transportation system, specifically the subway is so much faster and more efficient than ours here in Toronto.
They do have some rules, clearly written both at the platform as you enter the subway system, and in the subway trains, busses and street cars:

  1. no drinks or food allowed (which means you never have to worry about someone’s coffee being spilled on you)
  2. no littering (and they actually don’t)
  3. lower your back-packs the moment you enter a vehicle (they do; I have been watching).

I also noticed that when two people enter a bus – and the steps are steeper than ours:

  1. the woman enters first
  2. the man steps down first and offers a hand to the lady.

I have been with my brother, my cousin, another cousin, and they do this automatically. Not pretentious at all, just common courtesy.

Offering your seat:

Some stand up and offer their seat and some don’t. I have been offered quite often, and always graciously accepted, mostly because I want them to continue doing so. If I say “no, I am not that old”, then maybe they will never stand up again. And to a 20-year old, even a 40-year-old is Old. Deal with it.

However, there is one thing that I noticed in both cities that I cannot understand: You stand up and offer a lady with child or children your seat, and she thanks you and lets the 10-year old son sit down while she continues to stand. What kind of generation are we raising here? I offered my seat to a lady so that she can sit down and maybe put the younger one on her lap – but to have an able-bodied 10-year-old boy sit while we all stand, I find ridiculous.

I am sure you have comments.



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What People are Saying

Thanks a lot – that’s an issue that really needs addressing. I see them on the bus, subways everywhere and
they have no consideration for others.
– Blessings, from Dawn

In Japan there are shelves above the seats in the subway cars for the backpacks/brief cases. I always hope
we might copy that here.
– Dorothy Sloan

Good note! By the way… the same holds true in the National Gallery of Art in DC. If you have a backpack, you
can hand carry it, but if you wear it, you will be asked to lower it, check it, or leave. They don’t want their
valuable collection bashed in the face either.
– Ari Berman

Good point. Only Mothers have “eyes in the back of their head”
– Barbara Onyskow

I love your website.
– Rhonda