Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Stroller vs. Stubborn

This morning’s bus ride was a study in stubbornness against common courtesy. Halfway to the office, a woman got on the bus with a stroller. There was a woman (we’ll call her sit-woman) sitting in the fold-down chair in the spot “reserved” for strollers and she refused to get up. She and another woman (civil-lady) got into an argument with civil-lady reading the sign next to sit-woman’s seat out loud and saying that giving up the seat to make room for the stroller was a question of “politesse” and civility. When sit-woman claimed that she couldn’t read, civil-lady pointed out the image on the sign declaring that images speak to everyone. The heated exchange lasted several minutes and even when a second stroller entered the crowded bus, sit-woman still wouldn’t stand up, causing several passengers to give her less-than-friendly looks. I thought she’d give in and stand up when the third stroller entered (especially since civil-lady had exited a few stops earlier). Mais non, sit-woman held her ground.


Anonymous said...

On a sidenote:
only two strollers are allowed per bus, any additional stroller must be folded ;-)
Therefore the third stroller was also not respecting basic rules.

avec amy said...

It bothers me when people sit on the strapontins on crowded metros, stroller or no stroller, but I have to admit that I’m a little tired of parents using their strollers as bulldozers too. Fighting rush hour is bad enough, if every parent in Paris forced their way on the metro w/their strollers at the busiest time of the day there would be no way we could all get to work on time to pay the charges which help pay for all the crèches and other family services in France. I find it a bit irksome that there are even signs making it an obligation. I completely agree that it's a matter of politeness and I would have stood up to make room. But I find there is a certain sense of entitlement people with children seem to have in Paris, as if it’s their right to do what they please.