It was cold this morning. 4 degrees. The coldest May morning in 9 years. I figured public transport would be running badly. Usually, a little bit of cold, of heat, of the stars not being aligned, and they run to the beat of their own timetable. This morning I was pleasantly surprised.
As I got to the station, the City Loop train pulled out (this is fine as it's not my preferred train) and then within a minute, the Flinders St train arrived. My train. A spare seat all to myself and no-one standing on my toes. Fantastic start to the day.
So, I take my seat and have a quick glance around the carriage. The train was sparsely populated, though there were the usual commuters. Business men and women, grey faced and newspapers stretched, a few kids on their way to school smelling of recently extinguished cigarettes and hair gel, many with ipods jammed into their ears.
A woman sat opposite me, her toddler standing on the seat beside her, both of them looking out the window. Cute kid. I liked his hat. They were a happy looking pair.
They were on the other side of the carriage, but their empty pram was propped inside the door, just beside my seat. I was quite surprised to notice the woman's handbag was sitting on the top of the pram.
It was open, and her purse was sitting right in the top in full view. It was JUST ASKING for trouble. A couple of other passengers had also glanced at it and I'm sure they thought the same as me. But everyone else stayed silent. Of course I had to say something. Couldn't help myself really.
I leaned over to her and said "I think you should be careful of your bag, it's in easy reach, and you never know what people will do." It was no refection on any of the other travelers, I just thought the temptation may well have been too much for anyone getting on or off the train. I figured it was worth a mention. No mother with child was going to catch any purse snatcher, and I am a slow slow runner so I wouldn't have been much help!
She looked surprised anyone had spoken to her and I felt as if I had intruded a little on her morning trip. She said she wasn't too worried because there weren't many people on the train and then said "thanks though." At this point I was feeling (just a little) embarrassed I had said anything.
When the train pulled into the next stop, she got up, put her child in the pusher, zipped her bag and but it in the tray below the seat and got off the train.
You know, I hope she was right (that would be preferable of course) but you never know, and you never can be too sure. Sad but true. It may not have been necessary this morning, but maybe it will make her more aware of it on another occasion.
I would prefer a little embarrassment to feeling regret later. It would have been a shame to ruin a perfect start to the day.