On the Quirks of Public Etiquette

You are sitting on the train. A would-be passenger steps in briefly, approaches the guy next to you, and asks that guy whether this train goes to “Whateverville”. The guy next to you doesn’t know, but surely somebody nearby does?!?

Never mind – the would-be passenger moves along and decides to continue his questioning in the next car.

Why do so many people do this, instead of just asking each person who is near? Are they embarrassed to linger after being rejected by the first person they asked?

Anyway – the door slammed in the guy’s face before he made it to the next car, and I guess he took a different train.