It’s interesting writing this when the internet and the news across the globe is talking about their concerns over a new app for rating people, but I recently experienced a train journey home that I really didn’t want to.
Quite unintentionally I found myself on the ‘drunk train’ back from London. While this isn’t a train where anarchy rules, the normal behaviours that people would exhibit on public transport are certainly dulled. In such situations I just keep myself to myself. Bury myself in a book, turn the mp3 player on (as a reasonable level of course) or just close my eyes and ignore all those around me. This was certainly needed on this occasion. I actually went for the music option so that I could ignore the music that was being played further down the carriage. If the conductor was going to ignore it, I figured that I would have to as well!
I was sat next to someone who had clearly had either a long day or a long evening. They were asleep pretty quickly, but as I was getting out at the final stop it wasn’t an issue as I wouldn’t need to wake them up.
What they followed was a lesson in (1) not falling asleep on public transport in the modern era (2) avoiding the ‘drunk train’ if at all possible and (3) if you have to take the ‘drunk train’ then trying to pick a carriage that is quiet, or moving to one if yours gets noisy.
The person next to me, as mentioned was asleep. Unfortunately, as he sleep, his jaw dropped leaving his mouth open. No issue in that, it can happen to anyone. What made it unfortunate was the behaviour of others on the train. They may have been drunk, and in some ways I hope they were as they could then use it as an excuse for their behaviour. The sleeping man next to me became their fixation. All their mobiles were out taking video of this chap and then, though I don’t believe any of them actually did this, there was talk about being filmed going up to him and putting their fingers into his open mouth.
By the time this chap awoke, upon arrival at the terminus, he was none the wiser as to what had happened, but I suspect that in due course he could be the focus of a number of facebook and youtube posts.
It could just be me, but I feel uncomfortable with this sort of thing. I have no desire to be a ‘star’ of either and believe it should be my choice as to whether I appear on the internet, not that of some drunken 20 somethings. Needless to say, I’ll be avoiding the drunk train in future and making sure that as best as possible, I don’t fall asleep on anything but a plane!