Anybody ever get asked by Indian riders to give up both seats so they can talk to their friend?

I can't be the only person this has ever happened to. But whenever I ride the Fremont (~6pm) bound train starting at Daly City there is always a 50/50 chance of getting hassled by a couple of Indians for me to give up my seat so he and his friend can sit together. Usually one of them will have found a seat next to someone when they get on at first (always in one of the downtown SF city stations); when they spot me in the back by myself. Guess what getting on at Daily City gets you when going to Fremont; if you guessed the last car and the pick of the back seats you guessed right. What gives them the right to ask me to give up my seat? (they NEVER ask the other person to just give up their seat but for some strange reason they feel it is ok to ask me to give up mines completely.

I am not the best writer but I hope you understand that I'm not talking just about the seat next to mines, but mines included. And then they have the nerve to feel offended because I declined their request. This has never happened with any other race then what are clearly Indian (Asian not American) riders.

Never seen or experienced relinquishing a seat so that friends can sit together. When they make the request, does it mean you will stand for the rest of your trip?

However, I've seen the reverse - especially from Fremont to SF trains in the AM: Indians offering their seats to seniors, mothers with children, and most often, expectant mothers.

I too would be disinclined to forfeit a seat for the convenience of two to carry on their conversation.

I travel solo transcontinental flights often throughout the year and typically have an aisle seat. I have been asked in more than a handful of times to give up my seat for 1) newlyweds; 2) parent with a young children; or 3) two business associates wishing to sit together, but last minute bookings had them in separate available seats. 99.9% of the time, it is a center seat - not a very good improvement.

So what happens when you decline their request?

TreoBART's picture

To me, that's a tough one. Personally, I would never ask someone to give up their seat just so I could sit with someone I knew. That's just rude. I have offered my seat to families trying to sit together before when I'm flying solo, but I don't fly very often. I have seen the airline employees ask if someone will switch seats so someone can sit with their children, but here's my thing. Would you really want to be the poor sucker who has to sit next to an unruly, unsupervised child for a long flight? I'd be out of my seat like it was on fire if someone stuck a lone 5 year old next to me.

boopiejones's picture

i would never give up my seat so that two able bodied people can sit together. however, i would always SWITCH seats so that two friends can sit together. (the only caveat to that would be if my new seat was next to a smelly person or someone that couldn't fit within the confines of their own seat).

i have never been asked to switch seats, but i have offered to switch with people that are obviously trying to sit together.

"...soon their conversation with their friend turns to why I did not want to give up my seat..." Does that conversation begin in Hindi?

I'm sure there's a Bollywood movie with this "scene" repeating itself over and over.

Depends on the situation as to trade seats.. I will generally be nice and trade unless it's a worse seat.

On flights though we always get the window and the isle. That was there is usually a slimmer chance someone would want the middle seat.

We only had someone decline once, but partway through the flight they changed their mind sine we were chatting and constantly passing things to each other as everyone does.

I've never experienced this particular scenario--a couple of times I've sat next to an Indian male and the friend comes in--then the original passenger sitting gets up and they move down the car to stand or to find more seats. Or they stand until one can sit and they move so they can continue the conversation. It can be a little annoying if they are loud or the sitter decides to get up AFTER I've settled into the seat, although there's really no other way to plan it unless the sitter had told me he had a friend. From what I've seen friends of all nationalities have never asked people to move and will shuffle around if two seats empty (either one bench or the aisle seats)

Honestly the only place I've encountered people asking others to move is the movie theater, which can be pretty annoying since most people don't talk or interact with each other during the movie and it's not the fault of the people who arrived earlier that there are no seats that are together left.

I've seen people give up seats on BART so families can sit together, especially parents and children, but I have not seen someone ask for a seat. Often not even the disabled, elderly or otherwise ask because either they're too shy (I assume, or perhaps it's a language barrier sometimes) or most people are good about getting up in the seats closest to the door.

Once I asked a woman if I could sit in the window as she was in the aisle. She rudely told me "to sit over there" (motioning elsewhere) because was saving the seat for her friend. I was offended by her manner (if she had been polite I'd be more understanding, but I really felt she was rude), but enjoyed watching when her friend entered a few stops down and totally didn't see the woman, meaning they were separated for most of the trip. I got a seat anyway, and only wanted the window because I was exiting near the end of the line that night.

autum_witch's picture

I have found the male Indian riders usually like setting next to me ;-) Regardless where their friends are. I often purposely sit next to the female Indian riders (if given a choice) as my partner is Indian (living back in London) so I like to strike up a conversation with them and see where they are from just to have some conversation on the way home as opposed to burying myself in the newspaper.