Abandoned newspaper

This is a common sight on Metro and SNCF in Paris. There is always a newspaper abandoned on the seat. It immediately brings back memories of journeys back in India where we place a handkerchief, a magazine or a newspaper on the seat to inform other travelers that the seat is taken. So, it is discomforting and unsettling for me.

How can I remove the newspaper and sit there? Isn't this against the golden rule that was imbibed into me from early childhood. A newspaper on the seat means it is taken. I have been programmed to think that way.

Okay, I decide to be a Parisian. I take the newspaper and take a seat. But where would I throw the newspaper? There are no garbage bins inside the train! Am I supposed to litter the train? Isn't that giving a reason to the Europeans to say bad things against Indians?

Yeah, a simple act of picking up the newspaper and throwing it away becomes complex when you overanalyze it. But I have a request to the fellow travelers. Please pick up the newspaper with you and throw in the nearest bin when you get off at your station. Moreover, in this overly security cautious era, I do not want to pick up your newspaper fearing the unknown.

Tags: Musings,Paris,Metro, SNCF


  1. I dont know why I had a smile on my face while reading this.... You said it right.. In India by keeping some belongings on the seat we 'occupy' seats.. However.. the way you wrote it.. I loved it..
    Thanks for the smile that you brought on my face..!!!

  2. @Madhulika - Thank you for the kind and encouraging words. I'm happy you liked it.

  3. thanks for the post.really enjoyed reading it

  4. that's kinda sweet thing to say. I mean, its adorable how you overanalyze the newspaper placed on a seat :D

  5. @Kranthi - Thank you.

    @Defiant Princess - Thank you for the encouraging words. Isn't that what us bloggers are supposed to do? Create something out of vacuum or near vacuum? ;)

  6. Interesting read! You truely brought out the Indian meaning of the keeping a belonging on the seat as a mark of their territory, though temporarily!


  7. @Restless - Thanks for dropping by. :)

  8. hehehe....facing this situation everytime I take a train... I think its the same all over Europe :) :)... liked the way you narrated it :)

  9. @SuKupedia - Thanks for dropping by. Why can't people take the darn thing with them? That is the question I ask always. In France, most of these papers are free. You see people standing at the entrance to the station for distributing these papers.

  10. Nice one enjoyed reading it


  11. @Jaggy - Thanks for dropping by. :)

  12. Excellent :-) I always enjoy learning those differences of interpretation about small facts of the life :-)

    In the Metro/RER it is common... Courtesy! :-)
    Yes those newspapers are free, but hardly available after 10am. Thus, after finishing it, instead of wasting it in a trash, we "abandon" it on the seat, for others who didn't have the chance to get one on the morning, and would like to "adopt" it. Specially enjoyable when you find one the evening, on the way back to home!
    Btw I also "abandon" my non-free newspapers like this, apologies to all newspapers sellers ;-)

    Oh, except in the TGV!! in this case yes, it's just for keeping the seat, don't steal my newspaper! Lol
    ... Complicated neh?

  13. @Mael - Ohhhhh... The french are so complicated. :p Thanks for sharing the thoughts. I will keep this in mind in the future. I will not throw away the newspapers. Instead I will tuck it in such a way that next person can read this. ;)


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