Nosepickers Galore

I started a new job and had to commute into London Bridge or Cannon Street Station every work day. At first, my attention was on the scenery and the landmarks outside the train but after a while, if you have seen one platform then you have seen them all. I soon settled into reading or messing about with my phone.

There was one major distraction. The Nosepickers . There were everywhere. Many times, I felt like shouting out and saying, “For God’s sake, wait till you get to a bathroom so you can wash your hands after or use a bloody tissue!” Instead, I just looked away in disgust trying to control the feeling of wanting to throw up a little. My mind would go a wandering. Do they then go to work or their business meeting and then shake someone’s hand? What about that bit that they just rolled up and tried to throw away discreetly? Will it then get stuck on somebody else by accident? Worse still was when I caught them rubbing it off on the edge of the seat!


I am talking about what appear to be sophisticated working professionals, all groomed and looking refined. There was this “gentleman” the other day who wore a well-tailored suit, he was reading his newspaper when suddenly, out came his finger and there he was mining away for gold. On occasion, the culprits actually fool themselves into thinking that if they turn their body slightly towards the window and cover their hand over their nose, they’ve actually activated an invisible shield or privacy force field and the digging is not being witnessed by the rest of us who are in such close proximity with them. It’s mostly men that I see who are part of the nose picking crew, however, not exclusively. I was lucky enough to meet an honorary lady member. She too was well dressed and wearing exquisite rings on her finger which I was admiring until the interruption jolted me out of my reverie and I turned my attention quickly to the grey brown platform out of the window on the left of me.

I don’t get it. It never ceases to amaze me. I think it’s such a contradiction and it’s the epitome of bad manners and poor hygiene. It’s almost as if they got up in the morning, put on their costume but the show hasn’t started yet. Besides, all the people who commute with them on a daily basis haven’t paid for tickets to see it so who cares about them? The moment they walk into the office or place of work, the transformation begins and it will be lights, camera and action!

I grew up here in England and honestly, I don’t remember there ever being so much of this kind of behaviour and the weird thing is, I don’t see it on my commute locally. What’s this about then? Is it because things have changed and people have become more cut off from their surroundings? Or is it the early morning hours and people are still waking up? Perhaps it’s the comfort of routine that have put them in a trance induced state and they ‘know not what they do’. Call me old-fashioned when it’s comes to this and I’ll be happy you did. I think that the way you behave in these sorts of daily circumstances speaks volumes about the person you are. When you put your bag or feet on the seat next to you, when you push people out-of-the-way or cut in front of them, when you don’t get up for someone who needs it more than you and hell yes, when you pick that nose of yours – it is an unthinking selfish way to carry yourself and all of it tells me a lot about who you are and where you come from.