More Thanh Words

"My name is Thanh and I'm a Blogger". Now that I have admitted to that, I can say that I'm a stereotypical "geeky" Engineer who enjoys sci-fi books and movies and into all things technological. I also love music and have a passion for FOOD. I'm a social person and like to talk to people. I hate people who are fake or overly aggressive. If you're also into some serious discussion, with a pinch of sarcasm and a dash of real emotion, then please read on.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Train Ride

Today I had to go to a training session in the city. I had driven to a previous training and that was a nightmare. I couldn't find a parking and in the ended up paying $38 for about 5 hours parking. Luckily I was able to claim that back from work.

So today I decided to take the train. I haven't taken the train in ages, let alone during peak hour. It's such an uncomfortable ride in peak hour. Usually when I take the train, its at night or to a sporting event. During those times, you usually have lots of space since or you have friends with you so you are chatting away. During peak hour, the people on trains are usually individuals on their way to work. Everyone is gloomy and tired. The trains are very packed, so you are uncomfortable physically, but also psychologically.

Humans need their personal space and are not good when crammed together. In general, strangers will keep a distance of between 2-3 feet from each other. Friends will talk to each other at about 1-2 feet. If someone comes closer to you than 1 foot, they are really in your personal space. Generally, most people will take a step back to free up some space, unless the two people know each other well and are comfortable in each other's prescence. Sometimes the task or environment will also dictate the proximity. For example, when you lean over someone to show them something on a computer, you are really invading their personal space. Since its usually only for a short period to click a few buttons, people will put up with it. In a train, the physical space available forces you to invade someone else's space. I tend to find that I don't know where to look. Everyone else is the same too. Mostly people stare off into the distance or out the windows. However, when you occasionally make eye contact with a total stranger, there is a really awkward feeling.

It's the same situation in a lift. It's a confined space and generally the people in it don't know each other. For that short ride, there is an edge to the atmosphere and everyone is just waiting till they get to their floor. If you want to try something really psychologically challenging, next time you go in a lift, don't face forward but instead turn your back to the door and face everyone. This means that you are really getting into people's space and I'm sure you will be extremely uncomfortable.

Back to the trains though, a lot of people now listen to music to pass the time, myself included. I, along with many many others as I had noticed today, had the tell-tale white earphones and cord sticking out. We are the Ipod brigade and are happily lost in our own little world with our music. Time passed by a lot quicked with U2 singing to me and FIR joining in later on as well. A few other people were studying their books, one girl was on her laptop, people reading the newspaper, some sleeping, and one lady knitting a sock. All of us had the goal of wasting some time while we waited to get to our destination, and to avoid making too much eye contact with complete strangers who are invading our personal space.

5 Comments:

Blogger Jonno said...

I hate cramped trains too.. I always try and go before peak so I can get a seat. But seeing you're from springvale I think all times are peak times in the morning... Music is a must on the train...

11/21/2006 10:59 PM  
Blogger A-la-la-la-n said...

Perth train-o's are the suckiest thing ever.

In fact, perth's public transportation sucks majorly.

be glad you dont need to ride it

And that not even during peak hours...ugh...its even worse.

11/22/2006 4:19 PM  
Blogger thanh7580 said...

Jonno, it was actually not that packed when I got on, but when it got to Caulfield, it really got packed. Taking a train is definitely not a comfortable enjoyable experience. Thankfully I had my ipod, or would have been so bored.

Alan, I think all Australian trains are pretty bad. They never run on time, are so old and rock all over the place. I remember the trains in HK and Guang Zhou were so on time and smooth.

11/22/2006 6:58 PM  
Blogger The Oriental Express said...

Didn't know parking charges can be so high in Australia.

This is why I prefer not to drive. Am more mobile hopping into MRT, bus and taxis and sometimes by by No. 11 transport (my pair of legs)!

Cheers to more leg exercises!

11/22/2006 8:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fat Do is just a Princess.

Can't stand train rides. He rather go bumper to bumper on busy shitty roads just to get to the Kings Street's male strip club on Sat night.

11/13/2007 3:14 PM  

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