MS. BEHAVING is ready to rout the louts! And so are you, judging by these questions:
A READER WRITES: On the train from New York to D.C., we were all assaulted by a cellphone loudmouth who never shut up. How to counter this scourge?
MS. BEHAVING REPLIES: All should gang up and wrestle the cell dweeb to the ground, throwing his phone out the window. Oh, sorry: that is Ms. Behaving’s fantasy in a Perfect World. If you value quiet, score a reservation on the train’s Quiet Car, if it has one, and the trip will be smooth. Barring that – and if stern looks and/or a firm “could you please lower your voice?” doesn’t work – there is always Ms. Behaving’s most portable, compact, cheap and foolproof solution: earplugs. She carries a pair with her everywhere, to dull the sound of those who love the sound of their own voices. A travel essential no matter where you’re going, or how you get there!
A READER WRITES: Going to my country home on the bus, I hate those people who take up two seats with their stuff or pretend to be asleep so you won’t take the seat next to them. What to do?
MS. BEHAVING REPLIES: We all want privacy and space which, in today’s travel climate, is at a premium. Ms. Behaving herself has been guilty of the “please don’t sit by me” possessions pile, but has also been the victim of same. Civility always, always saves the day, my dear. Do say “Excuse me, I hate to disturb you, but it appears the bus will be full today. May I take this seat please?” instead of “Give me this seat, you hog.” The person addressed will be so happily surprised that you are polite, they will in almost all cases be so in return. Ms. Behaving believes that every journey should begin with a kind word and a smile. Try it!
Have questions about etiquette, local or global travel customs or awkward moments on the road? Fear not! Ms. Behaving is ready to answer. Send your queries (putting "Ms. Behaving" in the subject line) .
Photo above: Ms. Behaving at Royal Ascot.