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한국 사람이 아니다

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"Bad Boston" and T parties [Jan. 23rd, 2007|10:48 am]
한국 사람이 아니다
[Current Location |Dave's sofa]
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The Boston Phoenix has, in this week's issue, an article called Bad Boston: 27 things that drive us crazy about the city we love. One of the the 27 items is subtitled "Social lube on the tube," and is about courtesy on the T.

And while, yes, there are some very rude people on the T, they're not all bad. At least, not on the Red Line.

I have seen people race to give up their seat to a pregnant woman. I've seen people run interference for older people who were a little intimidated by the "young punks" on the trains. I've had some very interesting discussions on the trains, too.

The other day, I saw a man and woman meet on the train at South Station, fall into a conversation, and by the time he got off at Harvard, they were chatting like old friends. I captured them with my cameraphone:

The other day, I had Gun-Hee with me; we were going to the vet in Porter Square. We'd just missed the train at Broadway, so I knew we'd have a bit of a wait. As I walked down to sit, a woman exclaimed, "Oooh! A kitten!" So I stopped, and turned back so she and her boyfriend could see him.

"Is he an Abyssinian?" she exclaimed. "I always wanted an Aby! We have a Bengal...Frank. He's 4½ months old. How old is...he?"
"He, yes. He's just four months. We're on our way to get rabies shots."

She looked at his tag. "What's his name?"
"Gun-Hee...he's Korean."
A small gasp. "So am I! I'm half Korean! My name's Min-Suk. I was adopted when I was three, so I lost my language..." I explained that my boyfriend is Korean and that I have been learning Korean.

The train came and we all boarded. We kept talking until they got off at the next stop, South Station. She asked where I got Gun-Hee and I told her he came from a breeder in Canada; I also told her about the cat show next week in Dover, NH. She raised an eyebrow and turned to her boyfriend: "What do you think, hon? Take a drive next weekend?" So I may see them there.

Then, too, there was last week. I quit one job to go and work at another, and I had an interoffice cart which I loaded with all my stuff and wheeled over to my new office building. It was a bitter cold day, and the sidewalks of downtown Boston are not the smoothest in the world. A small box fell off the top of the pile...and a man in a suit promptly picked it up and put it back on the cart. Then, I got myself cornered in a place with no curb-ramp. I went round to the front to pull it up onto the sidewalk, but before I could, another man grabbed the end and lifted it up. Finally at my new building, a woman saw me coming in with the cart and held the door open for me. All of this was unasked...and unexpected.

Still, you hear so many stories of Bostonians being rude, unfriendly, nasty...and yes, there are some. But my experiences in the city have been rather different.

From: lilzie
2007-01-23 05:39 pm (UTC)
that's so cool! the other day i was walking around looking a bit lost and 2 guys coming up the hill with their beach cruisers stopped me just to see if i was OK or lost. we started chatting and they are from the neighboring hometown of mine. we live on the same block now!! i've seen one of the guys leaving for work and he waved to me. i'm gonna pop over sometime at a decent hour and see if they want to BBQ sometime.

i love my hood and the people in in, they are so much nicer than the ones from up north in my last place :D
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[User Picture]From: karmen
2007-01-23 07:16 pm (UTC)
Thats awesome!

I will be in Boston this coming weekend - only for Sat and Sun and Sat we are doing wedding stuff with a friend. I will be taking the tube for sure - last time we were there people were friendly too. The only place I have not really felt 'safe' on public transportation is Atlanta.
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[User Picture]From: talonvaki
2007-01-23 10:28 pm (UTC)
Seriously true. I lived in Atlanta for almost two years. I never felt totally safe...or like I really belonged. Which, well...is why I moved here.
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[User Picture]From: shark_girl
2007-01-23 08:18 pm (UTC)
The same thing happened here a few years ago. The papers were badmouthing the teens and schoolkids for being rude and "scary" to other people on the trains, yet as a train catching person, I rarely saw this, and my experience was that the ones being singled out as misbehaving, were actually always the first to help someone on or off with a stroller, or stand up for an older or pregnant person. I think those who write these stories only catch the train once for a few minutes as "research" and claim its like that all the time.
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