Just a thought....
Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

Monday, 12 July 2010


Yes, the image does say 'Maleducado' and my title has an 'a' on the end. That isn't a spelling error. This title refers to a girl on the bus (the 'a' denotes feminine).

This weekend, I read a blog where someone was describing eating habits in Brazil. One of the things she mentioned was that it's considered rude to eat on the go (they obviously didn't walk the streets of São Paulo or take public transport here). Ok, it's not often you see someone walking and eating. Kudos to them. They have some odd 'rules' for manners here, but then, they probably think the same about some of our manners. That's beside the point.

What gets me here is the use of the word 'maleducado'. It means 'badly educated'. 'Mal' is 'bad' and 'educado' is fairly obvious. Is it really just a matter of education? Really? They honestly believe it is and will argue the toss till they're blue in the face.

On the bus today, there was a girl sitting in the area on the bus reserved for the elderly, infirm, pregnant and those with children too young to stand on their own. At her feet, sitting on the corner of the footrest, looking very uncomfortable, was an elderly woman. Standing alongside was another. I looked down. The woman's feet were swollen and red. The girl sat. I tapped her on the shoulder and, giving her the benefit of the doubt, pointed at the two elderly women who had a right to a seat there. The girl heaved a huge, very visible sigh and started 'packing up'. By 'packing up', I mean she started arranging her earphones and fiddling with her iPod and shuffling her bag around on her lap. I glared at her. She sighed again. 3 Stops later, she was still 'getting her stuff together'. I had to get off. She watched me get off and settled back into her seat. I was aghast and totally disgusted. I'm sorry. That is Not a question of education. I've seen animals care more. Trouble is, I see this all the time. The kicker is that this same girl will look askance at someone who eats their pão de queijo without first wrapping it in a napkin.

Is it really lack of education (they're talking here about the 'education' into manners you get at your mother's knee) to dump huge mountains of rubble and refuse around the only three trees the neighbourhood has? Is it really lack of education to park the whole pavement full, so pedestrians have to walk in the streets? Or lying across two seats on the bus because they know that not a soul will ask them to move. People would rather stand around uncomfortably than ask to pass someone or use a seat. And what about not booking a table at the mall, which stands empty while they decide what to eat, as others are wandering around with a tray of rapidly-cooling food.

I don't think it is lack of education. Not even in the slightest. It's lack of caring or respect for our fellow beings. Sure, education can improve that, but it shouldn't be necessary and heck, so many times I see the so-called educated acting like uncultured buffoons.

It irks me no end that this word almost gives them cause to feel sympathy for the offender. You can hear it in the tone they use when excusing it. "Oh, it's not her fault. She's just not educated." Gah!


  1. Chalk it up to me being a loud mouthed American, but I have little patience for people like that kid and would have "helped" her pack up. And the excuse of poor education...well, people can educated themselves, can't they. They do it all time, learn new things. Ignorance is corrected by education, but stupid, well...you can't fix stupid!

  2. I used to walk and eat while working. I didn't want to spend the time sitting around. The faster I did the work the sooner I could get home. The whole day was spent walking from one plant to the other. From one building to the other and from one kitchen to another. Constant walking. If I did sit to eat I ate fast. I gave myself ten to thirty minutes at the most because other wise I would get caught up in rush hour and that was hell so I didn't want to do that.
    As for being uneducated I am a self taught person. I am a high school drop out so I guess that could imply uneducated.
    I hope and pray that I will never stop learning though and that my life will be full of wonder, awe and happiness.

  3. PS: I am always considerate towards the elderly or disabled people and I would never stand there while someone took up more then their share of the seating. Sometimes, people will put their bag down on the adjacent seat and I like to sit so I refuse to let them take up the extra seat.
    Most people are nice about it so I don't mind asking them to move over. I have never had the experience where someone kept fumbling with their stuff and not removing it. Some times people think they are the center of the universe. Perhaps, one day they will see the error of their ways. One can only hope for the best.

  4. Debbie, if I had said something to the girl, chances are I'd have been shouted down by her. They get terribly mouthy. The old folk would have gotten embarrassed. They shake their heads quietly at the selfish people, but if the person is forced to stand, they'll rather waiver the seat. It makes me so mad. I doubt I'm explaining this properly. An example... the young guy is sitting in the reserved seat. An old lady is standing over him. I tap him on the shoulder to tell him to get his butt out of that seat. He makes a big show of being apologetic and nice - you know the kind, I'm sure. The old lady gets flustered and says, "No, no... I'm getting off soon" (count a good many miles to her stop) and he gratefully plants his lazy butt again. It brings out the worst in me. I want to treat him like a bad mannered brat, grab him by the scruff or by his ears and teach him some manners. He should not be sitting there in the first place!

  5. Hi Erika and welcome : ) You prove my point in so many ways. It isn't education or lack thereof, be it a 'school' education or an education in the home. I know folk who have grown up in awful environments, but have basic caring and better manners than those who've been spoiled by having both parents teaching them.

    Litter is my other bug bear... doesn't it gall them to see huge mounds of garbage around a tree? I had a poor, raggedy, possibly homeless judging by her appearance, woman comment on the filth today. That speaks volumes to me. I was actually ashamed of this so-called civilization then.

  6. Cultural differences, again. "Was your mother rude too? She certainly never taught you how to behave, did she?" Guess it goes back to being a mouthy American! LOL

  7. I once went up to a young high school girl who was with her buddies (nothing like peer pressure) and congratulated her very effusively on her pregnancy. "Oh? You're not pregnant? Really? Well, you're not old or infirm and so I just assumed because... well... you're sitting in pregnant woman's seat."

  8. Perfect! Very clever, bet it worked, too.

  9. There are uneducated jerks... and highly educated jerks...Anyone can be a jerk without even trying.

    Walking and eating? Nobody thinks that's "bad" here... it's efficient.

    Trash ? It seems it's mostly the young people...I guess their parents always cleaned up after them.

  10. Bert, I see the parents here tossing trash : ( and lots of it.

  11. Hehehehehe!!! Wait until you get here .... it's IRKFULL!!!!
    Jaldi Jaldi!!

  12. Katey, at least I can give them a piece of my mind they'll understand then! ; )

  13. Depends who you talk too .... someone was murdered on the bus before for politely asking someone to stop throwing popcorn at his gf. o.O I kid you not!

  14. Ack : ( So much for evolution. Society is getting no better. That's a fact.

  15. Having never lived anywhere (except the year in India, where ALL rules are tossed so far out the window you wonder if they ever existed) with dependence on public transport, I don't have much experience with behavior like this but it would leave me FUMING! I can see now what you were saying about being frustrated with people. I would be, too. :(

  16. It's like that here too. I have seen a degeneration of manners, respect and general awareness in the (can't believe I am using this term) Younger Generation. Kids just aren't raised with the same respect we had paddled onto our bottoms. My kids, to this day, will jump up to help anyone, offer a seat, hold a door, help old ladies with their bags....that includes Rachel, not just the boys. I didn't raise them to believe they were a special universe unto themselves. It's not like that so much anymore. They know how to act, at least when they're out!

  17. Rudeness is international and sadly it knows no class boundries, Tint.

  18. I think you can be educated, yet ignorant.

  19. My thought exactly and I agree too that respect for ones elders or administrators is deteriorating rapidly.

    The golden rule is no longer a rule, just a quaint, historical phrase mostly forgotten or worse, never learned.

  20. Sorry I missed this gem, Tint. Yes, there are very "morally superior" people out there who truly believe the world revolves around them. That is a total description of someone I just dumped as a "friend". A narrow view can never be a good view.

  21. Sorry I missed this gem, Tint. Yes, there are very "morally superior" people out there who truly believe the world revolves around them. That is a total description of someone I just dumped as a "friend". A narrow view can never be a good view.

  22. Kippy, sometimes humanity sucks... simple as that, though sometimes it's pretty cool, depending on who I bump into : )

    Kat, it's everywhere, unfortunately. Some places are worse than others. What got me here was the pathetic excuse they give it.

    Marty, that's so sad and yes, it holds no class boundries.

    Too true, Kat.

    Jules, I wish their was a simple solution to it (aside from tanning their backsides, which I think is the perfect solution lol)

    Thankfully, we can choose our friends, Kat : ) Simple common decency... and respect and compassion for our fellow man is surely not too much to ask for?

  23. Kudos to you for at least trying to take action. This kind of behavior infuriates me, as does litter. Yes, litter. There is hope here!

    In 1988 we all went to Holland together, the kids were 13 and 9. I had told them about transit manners. We have none here in Nakusp. But when they stood up for an elderly person the collective reaction was surprise. "You don't see much of that anymore!" was the comment.

    Fast forward to 2010, sky-train in Vancouver, B.C. People are offering seats to elders again. The first time this happened it took me by surprise. What, me, old?
    The person offering was a tall young man. I thanked him and shared my little Dutch incident. He beamed. He was from China, and his mother had taught him to do this, as had mine. We high-fived to mothers who teach manners.

    I thought this might be an isolated incident but it happened again and again. Daughter told us the government had a bit of a campaign to encourage people
    to share seats with those more in need.


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