Sunday, December 7, 2008

U-bahn and Old Ladies

Every year there is a student that tells me they were hit by an elderly lady, on purpose, with her purse. I kinda chuckle and ask what they did to receive such treatment. Inevitably, they tell me they were resting their dirty-shod feet on the seat across from them. Well, I can understand the elderly lady's irritation. First off, they grew up in a society that was much more formal, and the rules were clearly stated, but also, in an urban area where everyone walks the streets are incredibly dirty (i.e. dog poo everywhere). It makes sense to want to keep the seats clean where someone will sit down in nice clothes. While I can't recall anytime I have been the recipient on the wrong side of an old lady's purse, this is what I think of when I see them riding the UBahn.

Well, I had a different experience last night. Apparently carrying a baby on my person changes their attitude. Riding the U-bahn I noticed a group of elderly women dressed in their winter coats and hats. Jameson also noticed them and was smiling at them, so they were smiling back. Then one of the women stood up and told me that his pants were scrunched up and his legs exposed to the cold air. Just to let you, dear readers know, the U-bahn cars during the Vienna Winters are kept at a completely UNCOMFORTABLE 90 degrees or around there. She then proceeded to stand up while the train was moving to fix his pant legs. I was fully expecting to have to catch her, because a moving train is not very stable. I thanked her profusely and Jameson continued to smile at them for the rest of our trip. True to her word, his legs managed to stay warm in the chilly night air once we left the U-bahn station. It made me smile, and now, I will think of the old ladies taking care of little babies instead of hitting college kids with their purses for a wrongdoing.


Alison said...

Really, the hitting is a public service...just like the pant legs :) ha ha

Kelsey Paulus said...

Motherhood never leaves you even when you are old. Either you have to scold the disrespectful, or help another mommy out! It really does take a village to raise children!

Bridget said...

How sweet. You really can never have enough grandmas, especially when you're in Austria and (I'm guessing) not very close to your real ones.

Your son is a cutie.