I CONSIDER myself a Londoner but I have been living and working in Bahrain for the past three years. After a recent trip back to London, I took a train to Gatwick to catch my flight and the passengers were packed in like sardines.
A woman in her 90s was looking around in the hope that someone would offer her a seat. When no one did, I said: ‘Excuse me, would anyone mind giving this lady a seat?’ A number of people glanced in my direction but then went back to their smartphones.
I spoke up a second time, this time a bit more loudly, only to be shouted at by a young man, who told me that if the woman wanted a seat she could ask for it herself.
Another person told me to shut up as I was ruining the journey. It was only after I pressed the point that a man, who earlier that day had run the London Marathon, offered his seat.
I’m due to move back to London soon and sincerely hope that this is not what the city has become like. This isn’t something I could imagine happening in Bahrain, where, in my experience, seats on buses etc are always given up for those who need them more.