This morning there were two or three classes from a local primary school on board my tram taking up all the seats (mostly three children to a seat).
So to answer some email and write blog entries I had to sit in a stair-well. Melbourne trams are symmetrical so that they can just change direction at the end of the line (unlike some other trams – the Amsterdam tram line 10 that I used to catch has a circle at each end of the line for the tram to turn). Being symmetrical means that the doors on the left side of the tram are used for passengers to get on and off, and the doors on the right are locked – so the right stairwell is a place you can sit to use a laptop if all the seats are taken.
While I was sitting on the floor some women started talking about me, I heard comments such as “he’s answering his email”, “it must save a lot of time, he could do half an hour of email on the way to work”, and “he must work for an Internet company – look at his shirt” (I was wearing an Intel shirt given out at LCA 2007). At that point I decided to briefly explain the work I do, there’s a limit to the amount of time I can refrain from joining the conversation when people are standing around me and talking about me.
They didn’t seem to understand enough to enable me to explain anything about Linux.