Seven Annoying People You Will Meet On Trains (And Other Public Transportation)

March 7, 2015 fun, miscellaneous 16

Let me start by saying I don’t hate trains. Traveling by train is slow, but for shorter distances, I much prefer it to flying. I do, however, take an issue with the people on trains. So, without further ado, my list of pet peeves and people who incorporate them. Beware of clichés and stereotyping.

The Living Boombox

Remember when it was cool to walk up and down your street with a giant boombox blaring the newest hits on your shoulder? Yeah, neither do I, because we’re not living in the frickin’ eighties anymore. While it has thankfully become rare to encounter people who listen to music without headphones on public transportation these days, you will probably still have to listen to someone else’s (bad) music whenever you board a train. It’s understandable that you want to show off your new Beats by Dre, but didn’t they come with sound insulation? Don’t even bother asking the Living Boombox whether they could look after your bag while you use the toilet or wake you up at the next station – their ears are far too damaged to understand you. Depending on their variety of music and bribability, you could always try to insert a coin and use them as a jukebox of course.

The Construction Worker

This person might as well be working on a construction site because with the amount of times you hear a whistle from their general direction, you would think Beyonce, Shakira, and Rihanna are taking turns walking down the aisle. Unfortunately, it’s just their phone’s message tone, because they can’t be bothered to turn it off. Usually, this person is completely oblivious to the murderous stares they receive every time someone sends them a message and could not fathom why it would annoy someone in their wildest dreams. Even though you are probably one step away from taking their phone and throwing it out the window, you should probably try to talk to them first. If they still refuse to turn off their sound, you may resort to the first option, consequences be damned.

The Suprise Attack

The defining quality of this person is the smell wafting off of them. You will immediately notice this olfactory delight of a human being, because they smell like they just poured an entire bottle of cologne/perfume over their heads before they boarded the train. If they were a rare pokémon, it wouldn’t take you long to catch them as you will always find them right away by following the rising levels of nausea you suffer caused by their dedication to overpower your sense of smell.

A variation of the Surprise Attack is the Time Traveler, who seems to have come to us from an age far before the invention of the deodorant. They probably just played a long and challenging match of their chosen sport, because the sour smell of sweat they give off is permeating the whole train department. You might be able to tolerate the Surprise Attack or the Time Traveler when they’re alone by breathing through your mouth, but if you are faced with a combination of the two, it is probably time to get off and take the next train.

The Party Animal

This specimen often travels in groups of at least seven. They frequently forget they’re not on a chartered party bus but a regular train, and they feel sorry for everyone who is not in the mood to party. They are either coming from or going to a soccer match/techno parade/rock festival and plan to keep a steady blood alcohol level that would kill a medium sized mammal all weekend long. This is perhaps the most risky category of travelers because they will try to animate you to bawl along to bad songs with them and make you choose who looks best even though you really couldn’t decide between bad and worse. In this case, you might as well give up because they won’t stop anytime soon. If they like you, they might sacrifice one of their preciousss beers to finally get you to put your hands up in the air, put your hands UP in the air.

The Hippie

This person is perfectly comfortable making themselves at home wherever they are. You will find them lying down for a quick nap while claiming several seats for themselves, or chilling with their bare feet up on the seat opposite them. They might be wearing the traditional wide shirts and round sunglasses, but most likely they will be a hippie only in spirit, so you will often have trouble identifying them until it is too late and they are resting their head in your lap.

The Tamagotchi

You finally got off work and all you want is to sit back and relax during your ride home. Well, don’t get comfortable because the Tamagotchi is ready to engage! This person is so needy you are transported back to your childhood days – except you don’t want a Tamagotchi to take care of like you did then; you’re already busy enough as it is. The Tamagotchi is determined to make conversation no matter how many monosyllabic answers you give. Taking out your headphones or opening a magazine is no use: they wouldn’t get the hint if you hit them over the head with it. Which you might very well be tempted to do. They might be sitting next to you, opposite you or shout their part of the conversation from three rows down, but they will make conversation with you and if it’s the last thing they do.

The Dictator

This is likely to be an older person. You will recognize them by their piercing stare and thin lips as they scrutinize your every move. The moment your feet touch the cushion of a seat, they will get up and loudly tell you off. If the Dictator happens to find themselves in the vicinity of the Hippie, the Living Boombox or the Party Animal, everyone else better scramble because an explosion is about to go off. And as we all know, cool guys don’t look at explosions.

This guy is too cool to turn around AND knows how to travel in style.

Personally, I find the Construction Worker, Suprise Attack, and the Dictator the most annoying. That said, no one is perfect, and I definitely sometimes have a little Living Boombox and Hippie in me. How about you? What are your traveling pet peeves, and what do you do to get on other people’s nerves?

16 Responses to “Seven Annoying People You Will Meet On Trains (And Other Public Transportation)”

  1. verena

    I loooved this post!

    hmm, I am probably a bit of a BoomBox sometimes… and a little Dictator, but only when someone is really annoying. But I am more the Observer ! I observe all around me in a train^^

  2. Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight

    I LOVE this post, oh my goodness. Like, coffee snorted out of my nose a LOT. Especially with the Tamagotchi bwhahahha. Now, I do not frequent public transportation, simply because it isn’t an option here, but I have absolutely encountered ALL these people when I have been on it in the past. My goodness, The Construction Worker needs to be stopped. I know exactly which message tone you are referring to, because my insides cringe every time I hear it, and I want to rip out my eardrums at throw them at the perpetrator. This is just beyond true and fantastic!
    Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight recently posted…This Week At Midnight (51)My Profile

    • Vlora


      THAT RINGTONE IS MY ABSOLUTE PET PEEVE. Like, seriously, WHEREVER you go, it follows you. I spent an hour on a train sitting next to someone who got a message every two seconds (and I’m not exaggerating, it really was every two seconds) once and she didn’t turn it off! How inconsiderate can you be? And how can it NOT annoy people? I just want to take people’s phones and throw them against the wall when I hear it (though your eardrums idea is much more creative hahaha). Aaanyways, ever since then I feel very passionate about this topic as you can see. :D The idea of not having public transportation is kind of inconceivable to me – I don’t particularly like it, but it does come in pretty convenient. How do people who don’t have cars get around?

      So glad the post made you laugh, MISSION ACCOMPLISHED. :)
      Vlora recently posted…More Cake Than You Can Handle: The Cake Book TagMy Profile

  3. Cait @ Paper Fury

    THIS IS HILARIOUS AND PERFECT. I really haven’t travelled much on trains because I live in a microscopic town, BUT I did visit a huge city once and omg, it’s the party animals that kill me. they talk SO LOUD and it’s like the entire world revolves around them. *stews in hermit ways* Very annoying. -_- Very loud.
    This post is gold. xD
    Cait @ Paper Fury recently posted…The 10 Types of WritersMy Profile

    • Vlora


      So happy you enjoyed it! Oh, it really goes for any sort of public transportation, I just happened to be on a train when I got the idea. Years of suppressed rage all summed up into one little post. :D Oh yeah, I was on a train that went to Zurich the weekend they were hosting the street parade (this REALLY big techno party) once and the whole train was basically a party shuffle and I was sitting there like o_O what is happening. :D
      Vlora recently posted…More Cake Than You Can Handle: The Cake Book TagMy Profile

  4. Faye M.

    Haha, this is hilarious! I remember seeing people like this when I frequented the trams in France, back when I was a student there :) Here in the Philippines, I rarely use the train for travelling from Point A to Point B, but I do remember seeing The Ditator every time I did use it… they wouldn’t just use glares, but sharp words of passive aggressiveness towards you, too! XD
    Faye M. recently posted…Say It With Bubbles: Fairest by Marissa MeyerMy Profile

  5. Inge @ Bookshelf Reflections

    This post is the best. THE best. It’s funny because it’s true. I’m always really annoyed by people who need to share their music with me, and also the ones who can keep up a phone conversation for the entire ride. There should be a silent compartment where I can just sit, read, listen to my own music (with headphones!), and stare out the window.

    … is there a silent compartment?
    Inge @ Bookshelf Reflections recently posted…Fantasy Favourites Read-a-thonMy Profile

    • Vlora


      THERE IS IN MY DREAMS. I used to sometimes sneak into first class on city trains (I really just entered through the doors like you do, but sneaking makes it sound cooler) to get away from everyone. The second class was completely crowded and no one payed for first class anyway, but it depended on whether I was feeling dangerous that day. :D
      Vlora recently posted…More Cake Than You Can Handle: The Cake Book TagMy Profile

  6. Benish

    This is so common in NYC, it depresses me to take trains or buses :( I hate the living boombox people, they play music so loud and won’t shut up. and lol at construction workers, one time in the train this worker tried to fake sleep so he could lean on my shoulder o.O Creeps! Love the post :)
    Benish recently posted…Lacy Eye by Jessica Treadway ♥ ReviewMy Profile

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge