6 Ways to Annoy Me on a Bus, Train or Plane

Little things often annoy me, but take those little things and put them in the confines of a bus, train or plane and they morph into something else entirely. Here are some of the ways people have annoyed me on long journeys in the past – and just like Superman, you all now know my weaknesses….

Steal my armrest

By my arm rest I mean any armrest in my vicinity. I’m not sure why, but I’ve always had a sense of entitlement when it comes to armrests, and 1 is never enough. Apparently the person sitting in the middle seat on a plane should get 2, as a kind of reward for getting the worst seat, but not when I’m on board. I’ve had little battles with people, like 2 armies fighting over a strategic peninsular, each of us holding territory we’ll do anything to protect.

Be a child

I usually like children, but as soon as they step on to public transport they tend to get pretty annoying.  I know it’s usually the parents’ fault, but kids are people too so they are in some way responsible for their actions. I had one sitting behind me not long ago, and the most fun thing he could find to do was to repeatedly kick my seat. His parents were asleep, so I had to step in and dish out some discipline. He looked really worried, like he was about to start crying, but he learnt his lesson.

Close the curtain while I’m trying to look out the window

This happens a lot in China. Chinese people tend to fear the sun like no one else I’ve seen, and so as soon as there is any hint of sunlight shining through a window the curtains close. The window seat holds all the power in China, so whenever I sit there I take out my revenge against all of the curtain closers – I leave the curtains open no matter what. It probably sounds petty but sometimes you need these small victories when you’re travelling.

Make that horrible noise that is all too common in China

Here is another common one in China. It’s pretty horrible and I don’t want to explain exactly what they do, so just watch the video and you’ll see for yourself. You’ll also see an annoying curtain closer!

Put your seat too far back

This has to be one of the rudest things you can do on a bus, train or plane. I’ve had people put their seat all the way back, leaving me with almost no leg room at all. Last time this happened, on a bus in Cambodia, I decided to put a stop to it. They put their seat back upright, and then tried to recline again, but my knees got in the way. I kept them there for a while and it was really funny seeing them try to put their seat back only to fail. They kept trying every now and again, but I’d kinda kick the seat every time they did, so they eventually gave up.

Talk to me

It depends what mood I’m in, but sometimes I like to just listen to music, look at the window and ignore everyone else around me. Long journeys are perfect for it, but sometimes you’ll sit next to someone who won’t stop talking, and you’re stuck in a small talk abyss. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not some weirdo who sits alone eating dinner listening to huge headphones (I’ve seen people do that) but sometimes I just want some peace.

What annoys you on buses, planes and trains? Let me know!

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Jon Algie

A travel blogger from New Zealand who hates talking about himself in the third person and has no imagination when it comes to naming websites.
Upper Yubeng Village in Yunnan, China
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  1. June 16, 2014 at 6:55 pm — Reply

    Children used to annoy me too until i got my own and i’m slightly more understanding now. One of the things that really annoys me is when my husband starts pinning after the flight meal… i never understood why he liked those meals so much, i mean most of the time it’s not good and if it is, there is so little of it, and he can eat in the airport???

    • June 17, 2014 at 11:52 pm — Reply

      Haha, I’m with your husband on that one, it’s more exciting to eat on the plane!

  2. July 5, 2014 at 8:46 pm — Reply

    One of my biggest passenger grievances is when the person sitting behind you gets up and uses YOUR seat to help pull themselves in or out and forcefully shakes you our of whatever restful state you may be in.. Arghh!

    • September 25, 2014 at 11:23 pm — Reply

      Yeah that is annoying – I remember a bus ride in Cambodia when someone kept doing that!

  3. July 11, 2014 at 6:54 pm — Reply

    You forgot to mention …In China Chinese people in pushing each other on the train just to get in first. Its so annoying experience

    • September 25, 2014 at 11:23 pm — Reply

      Haha yip experienced that as well! I’m not sure why they rush so much, everyone seems to get on and on the trains I took there was assigned seats.

  4. Sandra from Tripper
    July 18, 2014 at 12:16 am — Reply

    Uh definitely number five and I’m not that tall… The other one is stealing MY room in the over head compartment.

    • September 25, 2014 at 11:24 pm — Reply

      I’d be on of those people stealing your over head compartment room!

  5. December 1, 2014 at 10:27 pm — Reply

    Agreed! But I’d like to ad projectile vomit to this list! There was a time in China where we couldn’t get on public transport without someone blowing chunks near by. The ‘hocking’ noises also became unbearable – lots of things make me shudder at the memory today!!!

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