Ignorant is the only word to describe the woman who sat beside me on the train today. I wanted to tell her so, but as usual, I hadn’t the guts to tackle a confrontation. Still, that’s what she was: Ignorant.

She got on at Banbury. I was asleep, tucked into the window seat, having made certain, as always, that my arms and elbows and feet were within my allotted space to ensure other passengers might be able to sit down. I am utterly exhausted, having barely slept thanks to agonising toothache (I have new-found sympathy for teething babies, having wanted nothing more than to SCREAM myself at 4 o’clock this morning…) and was hoping the train journey, with its lolling rhythm, might do something to make up for some of the night’s restlessness. I had set the alarm on my phone to ring 3 minutes before we would pull in, to ensure Reading recieved no surprise visitations…

While placing herself in the seat beside me she managed to elbow me hard three times. This was not a large lady – in fact, she was pretty darned bony by all accounts – but she seemed incapable of controlling her limbs. She didn’t apologise, just sighed very loudly in my general direction. She then took off her coat, which somehow hit me in the face, and, naturally, provoked further elbow attacks. For the duration of the journey she continuously elbowed me, rustled paper and turned pages more loudly than I would have believed possible, all the while clicking her pen open and closed, open and closed…

By the time we pulled into Oxford, the act of keeping my cool was the focus of all my energy. I wanted to scream at her for her lack of awareness and consideration. During the previous 20 minutes she had, at some point, eaten a banana, and as we pulled in, proceeded to tuck the skin in between the pull-down table and the back of the chair in front. I am shocked when I see kids do this, disgusted by teenagers, but when it comes to a fully-grown woman in a skirt suit I am flabberghasted. She should know better!

Had she left the skin it would have been the last straw. I’d have had to say to her “You’re not leaving that there are you? There’s a bin on the platform!” Luckily, my thinly disguised look of incredulity did its job, and she retrieved the skin and placed it in said bin on her way out.

Still, I was left with the overall impression of ignorance. Ignorance, underlined with an abysmal taste in ill-fitting polyester suits…


6 thoughts on “Ignorant

  1. Ugh. Ignorant is absolutely the perfect word for her – horrid!

    Hope your toothache clears up quickly – it’s one of those awful, impossible-to-forget and goes-right-through-you pains, isn’t it?

  2. The poking and the elbowing is very bad, but the banana skin in the seat pocket makes me want to boke. I’m glad your very hard stare meant that she put it in the bin! I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve been elbowed in the face when on trains, and twice on a plane as well – maybe there is something about my face that’s irresistible to these people’s elbows?!

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