Thursday, June 22, 2006

"Give the lady your seat, dear"

I haven't been writing much in my blog this week. I think the cold has reduced my inspiration levels :) Or maybe I'm experiencing my first taste of writer's block. SCREAM!!.

Wellington trolley busI was on the bus to work the other morning. I had miraculously managed to get up at a reasonable hour (I mean "reasonable" for the rest of the world - it's "inthemiddleofthenight" as far as I'm concerned) which meant that the bus was pretty full and I had to stand. More people got on at each stop as we headed towards town, until the aisle was full too.

There was a little old lady who got on sometime after I did. She had to stand. If I'd been sitting down, I would have offered her my seat because it was how I was "trained" as a little kid.

"Give the lady/gentleman your seat, dear" my mum would say. And I quite liked doing it - people were always grateful, and it made me feel like a bit of a hero. Everyone did it back then, though. It was kind of expected. Good manners and all that.

For the entire journey into town this poor little old lady clung to the nearest hand-hold and tried not to fall over as the bus whizzed along. And I don't think anyone else even noticed her. Certainly no-one sitting down paid her the slightest bit of attention. Is this a cultural or a generational difference, I wonder?

I was brought up in the UK, so I don't know what it was like in New Zealand at the time. And because I live here now, I don't know whether people still give up their seats on buses in the UK. Interesting, though. A guy gave up his seat to a woman on my bus the other day and she was so amazed she thanked him all the way home.

I wonder if I should have suggested that someone give up their seat for the little old lady? Scary prospect, making a spectacle of yourself on the bus. And I would have been interfering on behalf of the lady, which she wouldn't necessarily have appreciated. Fascinating stuff, human behaviour...

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3 comments:

Speaka said...

I agree that young able bodied people should certainly give up their seat for little old ladies. That is the way I was brought up too.

I found it neat that the way they formalised it on the trains -- http://bnjendouble.blogspot.com/2006/06/this-rule-rules.html

Chardonnay said...

I completely hear you. It's amazing to me... the gradual degeneration of human kindness and concern for one another... one bus seat at a time. Has it gotten worse?... or am I just becoming more needy of a bus seat? But a very intresting subject Webweaver... and one to be pondered.

skybar22 said...

I always wondered if it was just in the USA, these bad manners but I guess not. That makes me sad. I somehow wanted to believe that it wasn't so widespread.