It’s a Londoner thing – rant about our public transport – but merely put, the passengers, not the vehicles or employees is what I want to comment on. I thought it be easier, if we could carry A3 signs above our heads, framed with fairy lights, stating “I am either elderly, pregnant, have child/children, have a disability. Move out the way bitch, and let me sit down!!” Maybe that could grasp the other traveller’s attention – since no one really likes talking to one another on the train? In my case, since I got the Baby on Board Badge, I wish it had a button I could press, where it would expand to the size of my face. Surely this can get me noticed, because this bump is not doing the trick (nor the badge)? O.K, I’m not gigantic but it is clearly noticeable!
I was not far into my pregnancy at all and within the first trimester, with no badge. Fighting with my alter ego, playing and rewinding scenarios – should I wear the badge today or not; even though I was a skinny twig, not even with a cute belly flab hanging over? I made the decision not to, until I started showing bit of a bump cleavage. I have regretted this a few times. I was heading to a client meeting, and at this point with only about 2 or 3 stops left remaining; I had softly asked a guy if I could take his seat for these amount of stops. Explaining that I was pregnant, and feeling nauseated, I was refused a seat. My fist clenched so hard but before I can retaliate and turn it into a slap across his face –he smugly said “But you don’t have a Baby on Badge?” Does it need to come to that – that I really need a sign – the badge or the honestly the useless A3 idea? Respectfully, the stranger beside him presented his seat, and had manners which I expressed my thanks.
The other time in absence of the badge, was when the train suddenly halted. People ungracefully trying to stand well-postured, and avoid the invisible box of personal space of others in doing so. I unfortunately was pushed, but not purposefully, again already suffocating with the feeling of nausea.
The final time I was feeling very dizzy and because of the half hour standing up and then stepping of the train, I maneuvered uncontrollably aiming towards a pillar on the platform, closely knocking myself out.
No-one knows how others are feeling, and when someone actually has the decency to shed some sort of vulnerability towards unknown people, I wish naturally that we could all give a great response that could easily be gestured. Yet most of the time with, or without the badge, everyone is greeted with heads down, earphones in, eyes on mobile phones or tablets, and not being aware of their surroundings. Honestly, I can say I was one of them but always donated my seat to those that needed it.
Whilst I let lose my anger on this topic, I have to say there have been rare occasions with the badge that it has been a god-send. A lovely woman had noticed I did not look right – my face changed to a pale colour from olive skin, where I had vacated anything that was in my stomach, all over the bus. She stayed with me till the end of the journey and even paid for some water by Costa at Waterloo Train Station where the bus journey had ended. Everyone else looked at me with disgust.
The kind motion of the guy that looked tired and had a hard day, 4 seats away from where I was standing, stood up and played dodge them with other bodies standing still to offer me a seat. Thank you. To the lady that asked someone sitting down next to me to get up and offer a seat to me. Thank you.
I am becoming a pro at getting a seat now. Not waiting for others to proposition their seat – you got to go head strong, aim for the target seat determined and ask politely. Do not give a toss if your bump is hiding either. People will mainly gift you dirty looks and sighs (In my case 99% – the 1% will refuse) – but it’s for you and your bumps safety.
Rant over >_< You know you want to rant too 😉
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