A few points to remember as you’re riding the CTA trains in Chicago (we Chicagoans call it “the el”):
1. Don’t worry so much about getting ready for your stop. Standing near the door for your whole ride just puts you in the way of other people trying to use the doors. Similarly, preparing yourself for the next stop well beforehand by forcing a tiny path through the rest of us (packed like sardines) is equally curious and irritating. Seriously, chillax! I have never seen anyone miss their stop because they didn’t get out in time.
2. Use your inside voice. When you’re in a group on the el, people aren’t amused by you unless they have nothing better to do. Same thing goes for cell phone convos. No one cares! In fact, they’d rather you shut your gab-hole so they can read their books. Red line riders are sometimes exempt from this rule, because the train itself can’t be bothered to stay quiet.
3. Seats have borders, too. When you’re lucky enough to score one of those not-quite ergonomic seats on the el, you get all the space within the confines of those nifty lines that border its fuzzy blue (or brown) surface. In other words, no one should cross borders with their giant elbows as they read the paper or text their (probably equally self-entitled) friend.
4. Check your scent. Everyone knows that voices carry – but breath travels, too. Carry a pack of gum with you for those post-coffee mornings.
I know I’ve missed a few – feel free to let me know your El-iquette additions.