Thursday, May 15, 2008

Rant

I recognize that different cultures have different personal space boundaries and I tend to adjust mine according to where I am. That said, there is something that still bugs me about riding the metro here – people with newspapers invading the personal space of others. It’s one thing if the metro isn’t full and you have plenty of space for your paper, but if there are people next to you have some consideration and fold the friggin’ thing! Just because you decided to catch up on recent news during your commute doesn’t mean you should take up someone else’s space in the process.

5 comments:

David said...

When that happens, I just gently push the paper towards them while staring sternly and unhappily in their eyes.

Usually, they fold the paper in a matter of seconds.

And while, you Americans have unrealistic expectations about personal space while in France ;-) this is not a matter of personal space but of the average Parisian being a rude asshole (and the longer I stay in Paris, the more rude I feel I'm becoming, there's just something about this city)

A Seattleite in Paris said...

I agree about becoming ruder (but not about us having unrealistic expectations of personal space :p). I've also noticed that I've become more "parisian" in some ways. I think it's a survival technique for those of us who stay here long term.

Leesa said...

Hey... how about trying to keep strangers out of your "personal space" on a VERY crowded metro... It's nearly impossible!! I usually joke around, in French with all the morning commuters... and they all laugh out loud at my, "On es entre amis maintanent," because you really have to be "between friends now" to be brushing up against someone's "personal space!" I don't know if French people are used to it, or maybe I'm just a prude (well, I'm married, too... so I don't really like the personal contact with other men!) But, it's pretty funny HOW close people get, though not by choice, but by a very crowded space and nowhere to go... I just laugh each time as people are that close to one antoher pretty intimately and they just stare into space as though they are the sole metro rider... TTFN....

Leesa said...

P.S. I have to add this, too..
David, my friend from NJ (who lives in Paris) never gave a second thought to this personal space thing, cuz she's very used to NY... whereas I came from a very uncrowded place (San Diego) so I was not accustomed to the "lack" of respecting personal space. I am a little more used to it now, but what I am not used to are people walking in the streets and nearly knocking you over 'cuz they think they're the only ones their!

A Seattleite in Paris said...

Leesa - Seattle is like San Diego as far as space, so it some getting used to for me also.