Yesterday afternoon, I squeezed on board the crowded 5pm train.

The rush hour train is always packed. All of us strangers are sweaty and pushed up against each other. There’s no personal space. The air inside has this musty smell of stale air and body odour. The few open windows don’t help how stuffy it is inside, so some of the men peel open the doors and hang their limbs outside of the moving car.

Though our bodies are close, there’s a polite social distance between everyone. No one talks and our eyes avoid each other as if to give a little bit of personal space. But just after the train jerks to leave the Wittebome station, a loud voice calls out to everyone,

“Helloooo fellow passengers! It’s a bit overcrowded today isn’t it? We’re all getting to know each other really well!”

Annoyed eyes peer up from their books…

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