I know I expressed strong disapproval over young men seated in priority seats in the train, absorbed in games without any consideration to those the seats are reserved for. But I’m not dogmatically inflexible in my opinions. There are times young people can be emotionally, mentally and physically drained and have no energy to connect with their surroundings.
In this recent incident on the train, the young man I stood next to, who was seated on the priority seat and playing a phone app game, looked drained. So I didn’t actually mind he didn’t give up the seat.
What did make me uncomfortable was how the lady nearby phrased her sentence and in the manner she did. Did she have to ask if he was from China, because I’ve encountered far more rude locals, and not even pause for him to answer as if the question should immediately evoke shame? I hesitated taking the seat because I felt the racist remark was more offensive than being denied a seat. I wondered if I should respond in kind, to shame her for her words. But eventually I felt her words were more clumsy than malicious so I just thanked her and sat. Or did I choose comfort over principle? Who knows, maybe both.