Crowding my space

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Travelling through London yesterday – from inner North London to the outskirts of suburbia, south of the river, I came across many folks who were wont to forget good manners in sharing limited space with others.

In some ways, the situation has been exacerbated by the way that some people use their mobile phones to loudly discuss personal business within very close earshot range of fellow travellers. This habit has morphed into something even more intrusive – tuneless whistling into other people’s ears on queues in very busy supermarkets, for example.

Another manifestation of anti social behaviour is the self centred use of personal stereos, with those who choose to wear earphones creating confusion when fellow travellers are trying to get from one line to another on the underground system, or even trying to get off a train or bus. Do we really have to make things more complicated for each other than they need to be?

It is possible that I was feeling more sensitive than usual yesterday. It is also likely that folks regard Sunday as a day when they can let everything hang out. Maybe some parts of inner London have a constant influx of people who are unaware of the ‘work in progress’ sides to their personalities.

I remember laughing out loudly when I read someone’s reaction on a social media platform to disgruntled feelings expressed about similar behaviour. “Bring back the National Service”, that person retorted in a playful way. I wonder if it’s me that’s becoming curmudgeonly or if there is genuinely something amiss in the way that some of us behave in public spaces, moving through the city?

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