I understand that it can be hard to adapt to a foreign country and foreign habits, but when we’re dealing with common sense things that are valid all over the world and that, because they’re being tourists, they think it suddenly doesn’t apply to them anymore, it can be very annoying.
What am I talking about?
Tourists in the metro.
What makes them think that Paris metro is not like any other metro in the world and that the same basic rules apply here the same way?
1. When the train arrives, wait for the people that want to get off the train do it before you rush into the train. The train won’t leave without you, and you’ll see, when you let people out (and not block their way because you’re standing right in front of the doors), the train magically gets less crowded making your getting in a much easier and agreeable experience.
2. The folding seats can fold for a reason. And that reason is that… when its crowded in the train, people sitting on folding seats are a pain in the ass for everybody, including themselves (unless they have a strange fetish and they like having strangers’ butts in their faces). So when it’s crowded, you just get up from them. It’s quite simple, it’s even written in four languages next to every door of every train, but still, some people just seem to totally be unable to figure that out.
3. The metal poles in the middle of the train are not stripper poles, so unless your really want to do a strip show and some pole dancing, do not lean against them, or hug them or whatever you feel like doing with them expect from just holding on to them, as while you’re doing whatever it is you’re doing you’re preventing people around you to hold on to that pole too. And if you don’t care about their well being, try at least to care about their safety as they might fall hard if the train suddenly brakes and they’re holding on to anything because you’re leaning against the pole. And if you don’t care about their safety, try to care about yours, as they may fall on you.
4. I thought that was the case in every country, but apparently not, as some tourists still don’t get that you shouldn’t stand on the left side of the escalator, that side is for people that are in a rush, and want to walk up the stairs. Same thing goes on the moving walkways (I especially think about the one in Montparnasse station), they’re made so that you can go faster in the corridor, so if you decide to not walk on them have at least the politeness to not block the way, and stand on the right side of the walkway.
5. Same idea goes in the corridors of the metro (or even on sidewalks), if you’re a group of several people, walking slowly next to each other and taking all the width of the corridor is not a great idea either, and don’t be surprised if you have a bunch of angry people behind you. They don’t hate their lives, they just hate you.
So, if you want to have a decent experience in the Paris metro and don’t want to be shoved (case 1) being stepped on your feet or worse (case 2), having somebody’s knuckles in your spine -that can hurt- (case 3) or being bumped into more or less violently / having somebody “inadvertently” step on your heel (case 4 and 5), and in the end think that Parisians are really mean people (when it’s really you that are totally impolite and bothering everyone), just use your brain in the metro…
And I didn’t even get into the talking really loud because you think you’re the only ones there and/or assume nobody will understand what you say…