He Fell Asleep on the Subway Ride Home, but When an Elderly Woman Woke Him to Demand His Seat, He Pretended He Didn’t Speak Her Language

A man recently went online to ask if he’d been wrong to play dumb with an elderly woman who’d rudely demanded to have his seat. Here’s his side of the story.

It was a long ride

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“I live at the end of a subway line,” the 27-year-old explained. “My commute is about 50 minutes each way. Sometimes I fall asleep on the way home, but I don’t worry about it because I’m the last stop.”

And he’d had a long day

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“I’d had a really exhausting day, and so I fell asleep during my commute home.

She woke him up

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The man said that he’d been woken up before the end of the line by an elderly woman. She was yelling in his face in his second language.

Had she deliberately picked on him?

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The man explained that, as neither of them was white and that he turned out to be the only other non-white person in the carriage, she’d assumed he could speak her language.

She’d assumed correctly, but she didn’t know that, and anyway, that wasn’t the point.

He wasn’t sure what was going on

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The man was still half asleep and was confused about what was going on. Why was a woman yelling at him in a different language?

She wanted to sit down

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Eventually, the man registered what she was shouting: “HEY YOU! GET UP! GIVE ME YOUR SEAT! GIVE ME YOUR SEAT SO I CAN SIT!”

Why him?

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The man said that the subway carriage was pretty crowded, with every seat taken, but he became angry that he was being targeted, seemingly because the woman thought he could speak her language.

He didn’t like her tone

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Although he would always give his seat up to someone who needed it more under usual circumstances, he didn’t like how this lady was going about it, cussing him out.

He claimed ignorance

ex wife
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Angry, the man began pretending that he didn’t know what the woman was saying. He began talking back to her in English, saying, “What? What are you saying? What do you need?”

She gave up

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When the woman heard the man speak English, she muttered something about “kids these days” and left him alone. She got off three stops later.

It still bothered him

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Afterwards, the man felt conflicted. He felt that he perhaps should have given up his seat, but he was angry with the woman for yelling at him. He stressed that he hadn’t been taking up a reserved seat for the elderly or disabled.

He asked the internet

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The man reached out to the online community for their thoughts.

The internet responded

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The internet overwhelmingly backed the man. “I would have done exactly what you did,” said one. “I can’t stand entitled people, regardless of age.”

“Literally anyone else who was awake could have given her a seat,” agreed another. “Her behavior was unacceptable, and I think you handled it well.”

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