Yesterday, I was travelling. Travelling back to my EU niche and I accidentally had actually managed to evade being caught up in a national train-strike. So I was quite pleased – for a while.
It’s nice to travel by train. Provided you’re stuck with nice passengers. Or at least, with the right kind of passenger sitting next to you.
It’s even nicer to have nobody sitting next to you, but some international trains are overly popular. So the chance of having a whole bench – just two seats – all to yourself, is minimal on these trains. They’re overbooked and of course, I was on one of these.
Usually, I have no problem with whoever drops into the seat next to mine. Like many travellers, I stick my nose in a book and plug my ears with good music till my destination. My chosen book was a slim biography by Connie Ann Kirk. I won’t discuss it, just mention that if you’re searching for a biography on the author of the Harry Potter stories, there must be a better book.
So there I was: sitting happily in the sunshine with a decent book and music, being driven at high-speed through decent enough landscapes and towns, with decent enough fellow passengers. Until … Yes, you got it: at a station someone dropped down in the free chair next mine.
No: she didn’t scream, she didn’t kick my shins, she didn’t talk overly loud, she didn’t play piercing music. Her luggage did not fall on me, nor did she poke me, or try to talk to me. She presumed I didn’t understand Spanish, nor natter French. I don’t take issue with people presuming me to be unable to eavesdrop.
She got hold of her phone. First conversation – in Spanish – was to a female colleague telling her she was on holiday and not in the office. In fact, she was playing possum, as my Australian friends might put it.
Next conversation – in French – was to tell a guy she was on her way. She’d just left one station, she’d be at the right station at the right time. This conversation ended with her slobbering all over her mob phone.
No, I don’t know why people kiss-kiss their smart phones. I do not particularily love things which regularly play up. But if people want to slobber all over their phone, that’s fine as long as it’s their own phone.
But you’re right: the phone was the irk. It weren’t the text messages nor conversations. These stopped once we crossed the border, for most providers then start seriously overcharging. So she blocked these functions.
No, ms Anonymous started making a selfie of herself in her chair. She checked it – then deleted it – I presume. For she took another selfie. Same thing happened. She took another selfie, and another selfie, another selfie, yet another selfie …
No, she did change arm’s length, angle, horizontal, vertical, whatnot. But whatever she did, the result was not okay. From the corner of my eye, I did see a few attempts which seemed fine to me – but not to her.
It was not that she was taking selfies: anybody’s entitled to have a hobby. No – what was both irksome and intriguing: she continued making selfies. She was so utterly absorbed in taking selfies of herself in her chair, she nearly forgot to get out at the right station – about two hours later.