Being that I do not own a car I often find myself having to rely on hired transport to get to and from such places as work, school, the mall etc. I will go out on a limb here and assume that the majority of the Trinidad and Tobago population uses public/hired transportation on a daily basis and this assumption often leads me to wonder why there is such an absence of taxi etiquette.
In my opinion Taxi Etiquette (TE) is a combination of having awareness of yourself as well as having an awareness of your fellow passengers (as well as the driver) and respecting all who occupy the vehicle. These acts of respect and awareness include; keeping your body and luggage to yourself at all times, being mindful of how your actions will affect others in the vehicle and last but not least personal hygiene.
When travelling (by myself) I usually opt for either sitting in a single seat (maxi) or the front seat (taxi) but seeing that I was running late for work this morning I hastily jumped into the empty back seat (the front seat was taken) of a non-air conditioned taxi (another note in it self). Soon after a man came in and sat in the back with me and as we proceeded to drive off another woman came into the taxi as well. This left me sitting in the middle. The man who sat to my right passed his TE test with flying colours as the woman to my left failed.
To begin, I think I should mention that she was middle aged and over weight. This frustrated me as she seemed not to care that her handbag, right arm, right breast and stomach all sat on the left side of my body. This irritated me as the atmosphere was already humid. When I could no longer take her elbow digging into my hip I politely looked over and mentioned that she was causing me slight discomfort. After a bit of attitude she removed her elbow and jammed herself to the door (as she should have done to begin with).
But wait! It gets better! She received a phone call which she insisted on attending to via speaker phone and talking louder than she needed to. I would assume that this irritated the driver and prompted him to raise the volume of his radio to a ridiculous level which caused me to immediately develop a headache (which lasted for the rest of the day). I was more than grateful to come out at my stop only to reach in work to realise that I was smelling like a fried frog... HOW DEPRESSING.
So moral of the story, when using public transportation be mindful of others by keeping your arms, legs, breasts, luggage, body fluids and body odour to yourself!