Constantly Snuffling Woman!

Train Departed:  7:54 am (on time!)

Train Arrived at Destination: 9:33 (due 8:50 – 43 minutes late!)  Signal Failure

Notable Train Events:  Bookman and The Constantly Sniffling Woman

Knitting: Voyager Lace Stole in Rowan Kid Silk Haze in Colour 637 (1.5 balls out of 8 knitted)


Today, the train departed on time (wonders will never cease).  I sat in my usual prime knitting position (PKP), and got my knitting out of my bag, inserted my headphones (Iris Dement, Steve Earle, John Prine today) and started to knit.


Usually, I am careful to tuck in my left arm so I don’t bother the person sitting next to me, but I really do enjoy the first two stations where I generally have an empty seat beside me.  It didn’t take long before I got to wondering…what is it about the seat next to me that is so attractive, especially when there is an entire carriage of empty seats where travellers can sit?   


At the first stop, a guy gets on and sits right next to me when there were a hundred other seats he could choose from.  Really, it’s not that I’m ultra-cute and desirable that people would fight over sitting next to me…and it’s not that my knitting is really so interesting that everyone wants to watch.  Why then, when there are a heap of empty seats does this guy squeeze himself next to me, and THEN make funny little grunting noises at the movements of my arm whilst knitting like I am the rude one?


Thankfully he moved when he got his book out.  I may have been a little less careful than usual with my left arm which encouraged that course of action, but I can’t confirm.


At station number 3, after the train and all its passengers had sat unmoving at the cross over for 20 minutes because of signal failure, Bookman was  replaced by a beautiful girl of ‘continental appearance’ who I will forever more refer to as “The Constantly Snuffling Woman“.


Now I always hate to raise issues such as these because I never know whether there may be some cultural reason for what is happening.  (This is something I’ve had to think about more often since moving out to the East, as the diversity is far greater than in my previous habitat.)  But I seriously could not come up with any reason whatsoever that this woman wouldn’t blow her nose instead of sniffing snuffling like an elephant with a head cold.  I even got a tissue out of my handbag and blew my nose to see if it would persuade her to do the same… such luck.  I toyed with the idea of offering her a tissue, but I didn’t want to offend.   


There was little or no chance of me getting another PKP, so I didn’t want to move (besides I was there first),  and I didn’t want to offend The Constantly Snuffling Woman.  But, I also didn’t want to listen to the repugnant gurgle of the contents of her nose, making it’s way down the back of her throat for the entire duration of my journey!  My MP3 player didn’t have volume enough to drown out the noise!



So now I ask you…what should I have done?  I will be grateful for your suggestions!



Filed under Late Trains, Train Etiquette

4 responses to “Constantly Snuffling Woman!

  1. Give her the tissue, LOL. My son makes deep gutteral nose noises, it is so annoying.

  2. Heh, I think I would have been tempted, in my best no-nonsense mum voice, to offer the tissue and say “Blow your nose!”!! Cannot bear constant sniffing – drives me bonkers!

  3. Oh that is one of my pet peeves about people. I hate sniffers!

    I used to board the train with earphones and needlework. All I needed was a peg for my nose and it would’ve been perfect!

  4. Oh train dilemmas what fun! You could turn and stare/glare at her each time she snorts… or hum/chatter maniacally to yourself so she thinks you’re a nutter and moves. Its a tough one.

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