A Conversation for Public Transport

Seating Etiquette

Post 1

Top Cat

There seem to be a set of unwritten rules about where you can sit on the bus. The first person on the bus has the choice of any seat available but the subsequent passengers must attempt to sit as far away as possible from everybody else or risk being branded the resident fruitcake. This results in the bus filling in a sort of sripey-dot pattern which I'm sure mathematicians would be fascinated by if they didn't take the car to work every morning.

Seating Etiquette

Post 2


Desmond Morris's series "Manwatching" in the 1970s had a timelapse sequence of people coming to a beach. Very territorial. Always keeping their distance. It's the same on buses, train and in pubs and restaurants. If you are sitting next to someone on a busy train you feel okay. If the train empties except for you and the person next to you do you move or stay put? Won't others getting on mistake you for a couple? If the train was empty and a stranger chose to sit next to you, you'd feel uncomfortable. What are they up to?

Seating Etiquette

Post 3


As Ben Elton pointed out in a rant about trains, the ideal is to get a double seat entirely to yourself and only relinquish it to another at the absolutely last moment with the greatest deal of reluctance masked by an appearance of being polite and civil and keen to assist.

With the exertion of guile and cunning, it is possible to keep a double seat to yourself on a bus.

A very large bag (ie, too cumbersome to be a mere travelling bag but slightly too small to justify its travelling seperately in the luggage rack) is a key prop.

You sit nearest the window, Bag gets the outside of the seat nearest the aisle. In the early stages of a journey when a bus is still less than half-full, this is not a contentious issue - everyone gets a double seat to him or herself and there is no pressure for "seatungsraum" among passengers geting on.

As the bus fills, always make a show of being prepared to lift the bag up off the seat and into your lap to free the seat... but timing is everything. You have no need to do other than to lift the bag a couple of speculative inches, but always do this a couple of instants too late, just as the person passing your seat has written you off and is moving on somewhere else where the sitting is easier. Then you can shrug and return bag to its seat, having at least made the gesture and having been seen to have made the gesture.

An alternative gambit is to helpfully move it all the way off the seat and onto your lap - but leave a lot of Bag sticking out and intruding into the hypothetical personal space of a hypothetical person sitting next to you. The fact that nobody sits down next to you is not YOUR fault - you have made the offer, you have freed the seat for another.
This way, you may get to travel unhindered until your destination.

The No-Bag gambit: if someone moves to the seat nest to you, be VERY helpful and offer to get up so that they may have the window seat, on the grounds that you are going to be getting off quite soon so you may as well be sitting on the outside, nearest the aisle. It's amazing how many people will pass on this remarkably helpful common-sense offer, as if something about it is deeply suspicious. They move on; you get seat to yourself. And on the rare occassion somebody does: then you ARE next the aisle and CAN get off first. You win!

Seating Etiquette

Post 4


Or just pretend to be sleeping with your back against the wall and your legs curled across both seats. People wont wake you unless its nessecery.

If your feeling really annoyed shot "Pervert" when they do finally wake you.

Alternatly be the nutter talking very loudly to his invisible mate and see how much birth you get on a crowded bus.

It's ammazing what we insane people get away with smiley - winkeye

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