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?"
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.