I had a rather unpleasant encounter the other day on the F train on my way to work. When you take the subway during rush hour, you understand that you will be sharing a small space with dozens of people all who have a common goal — getting from one place to another with minimal hassle and as efficiently as can be. The last thing you need when making this effort is to be hit in the face with an offensive odor which cannot be escaped because the train is so full that it would be impossible to fall over, let alone leave the car and move to another one.
If you have a loud conversation, everyone will be able to hear you and if they so choose can chime in with their opinions on the discussion taking place. If you have private matters to discuss and don’t want others to hear them, talk about them somewhere other than a metal tube traveling underground. If the sound of your conversation is so loud that even across the subway car and over the sound of the music or podcast I have in my ears you are clearly audible and I can make out every syllable that crosses your lips, you may be speaking too loudly.
If you have recently made the decision to take a bath in cheap perfume, do us all a favor and don’t take the subway — that’s the unpleasant encounter I had on the train. All of a sudden, I felt as though someone had crammed a bottle of perfume in my nose and started spraying it. If you have difficulty understanding the way that not bathing in a number of weeks can have on the smell that you give off to the world, remember that bathing is not just good for you but for those around you. Incidentally, if you ever see two packed subway cars and one in between it that has practically nobody on it — there is a good reason that nobody is in that car.
Remember that you are not the only person on the train, and everything you do can possibly affect others around you. Make the subway system a more pleasant place by minimizing your smell (neutral is best!) and of course bathing once in awhile — even a public washroom washing beats stinking of old urine.