What I Hated the Least Today 104/365: That’s My Spot!

52 comments
104
That’s my spot! You’re sitting in my spot!

Since I’ve been off antidepressants, whose side effect was apparently depression, I’m so Zen, which is so unlike me, that I’m scaring myself. Among the appalling symptoms that I now manifest is the fact that I don’t even hate my commute. I find it almost delightful to spend two hours a day sitting shielded from weather and people on the bus.

I still may have some hope of not turning into an entirely zened-out person with her chakras so aligned that nothing can mess with them. This hope is founded on the anger that possessed me when I was ordering my bus tickets and discovered that my seat was taken. As I’m a frequent rider (as of frequent flyer), it should be generally and universally known that seat no. 53 is my spot. How dare someone challenge my carefully thought-out seating arrangement?

My reaction to the loss of my chosen seat was akin to Sheldon Cooper’s on The Big Bang Theory. While I didn’t approach the trespasser while yelling in her face THAT’S. MY. SPOT. ! YOU’RE. SITTING. IN. MY. SPOT. !, my thoughts were preoccupied with murder. I didn’t enjoy my alternative seat at all because it was on the wrong side of the bus. As everyone, I hate to end up on the wrong side.

I still approve of the seat allocation system though. I believe it is essential that people’s names are matched with specific seats in the unlikely, as they insist, case of an accident. Should the bus drive into a bridge with everyone dead belted in their seats, it will speed up the identification of the bodies immensely.

I imprudently shared this positive view with my colleague and co-traveller, who didn’t appreciate its ingenuity and looked upset. Especially in the light of the incident shortly after the bus set off when the driver hit the brakes rather hard and rather unexpectedly, sending all unbelted passengers and unattached objects flying. If I hadn’t been belted, I would have certainly cracked my head on the seat before me. This way I was only hoping that we hadn’t run over a kitten.

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52 comments on “What I Hated the Least Today 104/365: That’s My Spot!”

  1. I think we all tend to be creatures of habit. When I commuted by bus in Edinburgh many years ago, I noticed that several of we regulars would all sit in the exact same seats every morning. I had to be more flexible on the return journey as the bus was fuller. I accepted the random seating in the evening but it would have unsettled me in the morning to find my seat occupied.

    It is not just on public transport either that this occurs. Years ago, some teaching colleagues and I decided to conduct psychological experiments on unsuspecting colleagues. One such experiment involved disrupting, by various means, the way people arranged themselves in the staff room’s seating area. It was quite fascinating observing how discombobulated people were. It was my first sense of everyone being at least a little bit OCD.

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    1. I’m glad to hear that it seems to be a universal desire to possess “your” seat on public transport when you commute. I find this kind of routine comforting.

      I can’t help laughing when I imagine how your little experiment must have looked like – I’m sure there was a lot of very disconcerted people! That would completely throw me off balance and render me incompetent for the rest of the day.

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          1. It’s best to do it on a contained population who you know a bit because then you can observe when they deviate from their norm as a result of disrupting their norm.

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  2. that’s a snazzy looking bus! i understand your frustration with this – I like the right side when flying anywhere. I am OCD but aren’t we all to a degree? People don’t like change, I believe it’s just human nature. I am fifty five years young – as time goes I find change ever more difficult. Bet you didn’t know I am almost old fart!! hehe

    It’s great that you are feeling so much better, off of the damn drug too. That just rocks!! ❤️

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    1. It’s a bus as perfect as a bus can be. That’s surely part of the reason why I quite enjoy my commute. Cushioned seats, safety belts, free hot drinks, Wi-Fi and electric sockets to charge your devices. Best of all, this private company is cheaper than regular buses.

      I just finished ordering my bus tickets for the next week and again, I was too late and my no. 53 is taken for one route. I’m in depths of despair…

      Haha, let’s not share our ages, I’m at an age when it’s impolite to ask how old I am or even to hint that I have age 😉 It’s the same as not asking people about their weight.

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      1. We could use a solid private company like that in this city. Wifi, charging sockets… Nice! I was not asking your age, and know better. That is taboo! Same thing as sticking your hand in your girlfriend’s purse. I got the crap slapped outta me for that years ago. You can slap me, I deserve it! 😂

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        1. Yep. It’s awesome to commute on a fancy bus like that. I can’t imagine I would have to take a regular bus. Of course these private buses only go certain routes, which are quite limited.

          Sticking your hand in your girlfriend’s purse? That I could probably cope with, but I couldn’t bear anyone touching my phone or computer. I hate the idea of another person fiddling with my electronics.

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  3. I agree with Laura here above … when I commuted, in the mornings I had to have my regular seat. Not so much in the evening — it was different then.

    This reminds me of a woman from a far off Asian country, who used to live in our building. No ZEN for HER! There are eight washers in the laundry room. A ‘new’ couple had moved in to our floor, the husband was going to do the washing for the first time. He was down there early, filled up a machine, and was on his way out when he met this woman. She got SO MAD, when she saw he’d taken “her” washer, so she told him off in no uncertain terms what she thought about him. I happened to meet him in the elevator, just after this incident and he told me, wondering what the heck was going on with this building. It was the same woman who asked me what I had in the trash bags I was carrying down, when I answered body parts. She’s been locked up in some home now, so calm has been restored 🙂

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    1. And one would assume that Asian people tend to be calmer and more polite than Europeans or Americans… Good riddance. I love it how you answered her question about your rubbish. We have a saying here which translates roughly as “Ask a stupid question, you get a stupid answer”. Except in your case your answer was brilliant, of course 🙂

      On a related note, I find it fascinating that some countries have shared laundry rooms. Here it’s unthinkable. No matter how small the flat, it must have its own washing machine. All flats are built with plumbing for washing machines in each unit. I find it very convenient because I don’t need to be presentable (or even fully clothed) when doing laundry.

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      1. She wasn’t right in the head … or “all the sheep hadn’t come home” 😀 “not all cups in the cupboard” … so many, beautiful expressions for this.

        I’m so used to laundry rooms, and Swedish TV made a one-hour-documentary about Swedish laundry rooms … the ‘unwritten rules’ 🙂 There, in newer, and more upscale buildings, they have washers/dryers in the apartments, but it’s not the most common. Here, I really don’t know what is more common. In this particular building, it would be a disaster, because of the ancient plumbing. We have broken pipes at least once a week …

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        1. Or, as we say in Czech, her bees flew away on her (= she went mad). I have no idea where this idiom comes from.

          An one-hour documentary about the etiquette of laundry rooms? Intriguing! I’d be actually interested in watching it. And maybe some other documentaries on the unwritten and unspoken etiquette of other things – for instance here you are supposed to stand on the right side of the escalator so that impatient people could run up and overtake you on the left side. I’m sure there’s much more to it.

          I’m glad that my plumbing is fine, so far, since it’s a new building. When it gets messed up, it’s the landlord’s responsibility – after all, I’ve prepaid everything, considering how high my rent is 😉

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          1. Yes, it was fun to watch. They’d chosen a huge laundry room, in a likewise huge residential area outside Stockholm. Many people from other countries who weren’t aware of the rules, and how they fought 🙂

            We have the same rule about the escalator. There are so many unwritten rules like that — Seinfeld managed to pinpoint them all! 😀

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          2. I’m oddly fascinated with rules, and unwritten ones in particular. I mentioned the escalators because I hear it’s something visitors most often wonder about because it’s unknown to them. Another thing that often causes a culture shock is that when you buy fresh fruits or veggies in the supermarket, you usually have to weight your goods and stick the prize tag on them from a machine provided. If you fail to do so, the cashier will get very upset…

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          3. We had the same system, about the fruit and veggies, but they had to give up on that. So many fools weighed some cheap stuff, put the tag on the bag, then they changed and put in more expensive stuff. Geez …

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          4. Of course people would try to cheat when there’s a window of opportunity. Here the price label you get for your fruits/veggies states the name of the product too – so you can’t really buy peaches and weight them as onions without the cashier finding out by looking at the label and comparing it to the contents of your bag…

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          5. Of course they do! I don’t remember what those labels looked like — it was in the late 70’s.

            In the summertime, the big supermarkets open their ‘garden departments’, outside, fenced in, with plants and garden furniture. You enter these areas from inside the store. Turned out people brought big roasts, steaks, tenderloin … you name it, and threw them over the fence. They had some friends waiting on the other side.

            I noticed, when I was home 2011, that those fences were very high, and had barbwire on top. Found it strange, so I asked me sister-in-law, and she told me the above. I laughed so hard, I couldn’t stop … I could see, for my inner vision, how the were tossing that meat over the fence. There’s no end to human creativity 😂

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          6. What the heck?! Tossing meat over the fence? I’m quite shocked, I believed this kind of deceiving inventiveness was the privilege of us Czechs, notorious for finding backdoors of all kinds.

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    1. It’s a creepy photo of the actual girl who actually sat in my spot that day… Being creepy as I was when taking this snap, I didn’t think of composition and such things. The buses though are quite awesome. There is free Wi-Fi and in some there are screens for each seat where you can watch films, listen to music, play games… I don’t use the screens, I use my own tablet, but I imagine it’s great for many commuters.

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      1. I love it that buses have wifi nowadays! That trip I took to Quebec, last summer … the bus ride, that I’d dreaded,was a delight! It did help, also, that the driver was a smoker, so we could get out and smoke here and there 🙂

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        1. Whatever has wifi is suddenly so much better than without it… It sounds like a nice trip! It’s nice to have a driver who is considerate with smokers. It’s increasingly rare to be able to exercise your right to kill yourself slowly by smoking without anyone bothering you.

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          1. Yes. Smoking seems to be stigmatised in the wrong way. I don’t feel that youngers are put off in any way – they still think it’s cool to smoke – but it’s we, established adult smokers, that suffer the most. For example now that I teach, I can’t (shouldn’t) smoke in front of the university building so as not to set a bad example to the students smoking in front of it, so I have to walk to the bus station first and smoke next. Not on the premises of the station, of course, that’s banned.

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          2. Yeah, I think this whole thing has taken off in the wrong direction, and the hysteria about allergies makes me wonder how they can get outside at all. Why not just stay in an oxygen tent or something. Here, it’s gone wild, so as a smoker you’re almost treated as if you were contagious. A nightmare would be to end up in the hospital. They pride themselves of being smoke free now, which means there’s nowhere outside it you can go and smoke. You’d have to get off the property, and that’s far. Poor patients who certainly didn’t ask to go there.

            I’ve even seen a blogger here, who had the user-ID “nosmoking insert name”. Must be serious when you have to state you’re a non-smoker in your blogging identity.

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          3. An oxygen tent, ha 😀 I’ll try to suggest it to the next person who gives me an evil eye for daring to smoke in public. It’s a shame that we humans can’t get more reasonable and use our common sense a bit more. I take care not to smoke near people in public so as not to bother them, but I expect to be tolerated in return. I hope the person whose nickname is Non-smoker meant it as a joke which escapes me. Unless s/he blogs about how to quit smoking, I can’t see the point.

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          4. I would want to be tolerated too, but here, that’s not the case. The US invented the Marlboro Man, and all that crap, but now they’re rabid about smoking. I don’t think you can smoke outdoors, in for example Times Square. I haven’t checked out the person’s blog — I wanted to save myself for getting mad, but I probably will next time I see her around.

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          5. I’m very happy that I don’t know about the Marlboro Man and will not Google it so as not to get angry unnecessarily. I wonder when, based on western models, the Czechs will introduce the law about not drinking in public. It’s not that I do it, but it makes me wonder what next. Perhaps not breathing in public. 😮

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          6. I keep wondering which group of people they’ll go after next time here … Smokers won’t get heart surgery unless they quit (and prove it).

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    1. I’m not into conspiracy theories, but now I came to think that she stole my seat on purpose. And she did it again! Or someone else did. I’ll see the culprit tomorrow. I think I’ll need to have a serious talk with the person, whoever it is.

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  4. When I was commuting to work I always worried about so and so who wasn’t on the train that morning as their seat was vacant…you are right indignation at your seat being taken is always justified, irrational but that has nothing to do with righteous indignation…I’m with you Mara in having allocated seats so should disaster occur identifying the bodies would be easy…..great idea, let me know if it works….

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    1. Oh dear, you’re so concerned about your fellow commuters! I’m almost ashamed to admit that I don’t even know whom I commute with. As most people these days, I just stare in my phone or tablet and avoid eye contact. I think it’s actually considered polite now to ignore other people. Maybe I’m mistaken!

      Well, I’ll certainly let you know from the underworld how the identification of my body went after I had died in a bus crash. I’d rather die in a tram crash though, if it needs to be. I prefer trams.

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      1. Well I was thinking that in my day phone staring was as popular as it is now or I am just nosy…..trams you say? wow they are lumbering things death could be slow is what I’m thinking…then again no death in such a way would be preferred…..hope you have had a good day after all that…

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        1. I was probably being rude, so it’s not you being nosy at all, it’s me. Yes, I’m into trams. They are sufficiently fast for me and they look so nice – I adore the way this vehicle is designed. I don’t remember if I had a good and bad day, as you ask, all I know is that now I have coffee and wifi – which pretty much satisfies my desires at the moment. 😀

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  5. Free hot drinks ?! Free wifi ?! Seat belts?! Comfort?! What’s not to like about that ! Oh, someone in your seat of course 😦 How rude ! In our house the dining room seats have invisible name tags on them. Mostly, people are respectful. But then, it’s not a houseload of random strangers….

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    1. Of course you would have a fixed seating arrangement in your house! That’s perfectly natural and should be respected by everyone. Now, there should be seating arrangements everywhere so as to support OCD people like me, but some people (as the person, as yet unknown, who had the audacity to book my seat for tomorrow’s trip) make trouble.

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  6. OMG it would have been SO funny if you truly went up to her and told her “that’s my spot!” 😀 That would be an idea for the hidden camera… I absolutely know how you feel – I wouldn’t describe myself as a female version of Sheldon Cooper but boy oh boy do I hate when my spot in the bus is taken in the morning!!! You may not believe what I told you before about the female version of S. C. if I told you that that spot was thoroughly checked beforehand as well… Heating in the wintertime (which, for me, as you know, equals nearly every single day^^), window-plus, and where it shakes the least in order to be able to have a good undisturbed read in the morning… I cringe and cry out loud inwardly any time anyone enters the bus before me and grabs it – specially if it’s just random people I’ve never seen commute before… BAH!!!

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    1. I’m so much Sheldon Cooper and care so little what other people think of me that I did consider approaching the offender and warning her not to dare take my seat ever again. Isn’t it horrible when random people, who aren’t even regular commuters, take your spot? They should be banned. Yes, you’re right, there are so many things to consider when choosing your spot!

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      1. I know! I end up thinking that they’re not even worth the seat and should have no right to it lol. Do you always buy your seats online I understood, or do you pick them when you enter the bus? You could pre-buy all the tickets to avoid that to happen again 😉

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        1. Ha 😉 I only have my spot on the long-distance line which I always use when I need to get somewhere far – the key is to order your ticket early to make sure you get your spot. Once you book it, no one can sit there. I’m not that particular where I sit on regular public transport – here, it’s first come first served basis, so one can’t be picky…

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