This is not an exhaustive list of the many people that ride public transportation in Paris, but it is where I’ll begin.
Rumpelstilkstin: It doesn’t matter if you have gotten on the metro at the first stop, or you remain until the terminus. This person is consistently and forever asleep against the window in the corner of the metro car. They are unperturbed by delays, crying children, forceful breaking, and the clutter of tourists. It’s almost remarkable and impressive the kind of tranquility they have found in an underground tube that lacks fresh oxygen.
The Gate-Keeper: Completely ignoring any kind of logic about putting sardines into a can, this person refuses to move to the side or back of the metro car. Instead they remain fixed in their position in front of the doors, no matter how many stops they are riding. No amount of “pardon” and budging gets this person to scoot an inch.
The Executive: This person is found more frequently on the bus than in metro, but trust me they are everywhere. Believing that wherever they currently are is their personal office, this person speaks loudly into a telephone, with note pads and pens covering their lap. While their suits and perfectly coiffed hair may exude importance, mostly the conversations they are actually having are about a future rendez-vous at a bar.
The Chevy Chase Tourist Family: One tourist usually goes unnoticed; maybe the metro map and visible camera give them away but they are generally peaceful in their solitude. The Tourist Family however, are a multi-aged, multi-sized bunch that seemed determined to occupy as much space as they physically can. To help them with this they are accompanied by strollers (with or without baby), luggage, and many a shopping bag for proof they entered the Galeries Lafayette. Like The Executive, they are unfamiliar with the concept of “inside voices.”
A Flock of Teenage Boys: Wearing a bizarre assortment of sweatpants, sweatshirts, and brand name baseball hats, the flock of teenage boys come in two varieties. There are flocks of boys that are unfazed by presence of literally any one else in the metro car, keeping their strange grunts and handshakes amongst themselves. And there are flocks of boys who make it their sole objective to annoy and disturb literally everyone else in the metro car, under the pretense that they are “very cool.”
The Spy: I am guilty of often being this person. The spy observes but does not interact with fellow passengers. Often they are found standing near one of the most delightful metro riders, the silent reader. They are lucrative in the business of ruffling zero feathers, and reading over the shoulders of fellow passengers. The spy is so skillful in making no sound and causing no scene that they often get on and off the metro without a single person noticing.
Beats by Dre: Another pleasant metro rider that comes in any age is the music lover with headphones on. Maybe they are showing off their precious and expensive headphones but not always. Peaceful and relaxed, the headphone wearer is most loved when they are spotted tapping along with their feet or mouthing lyrics to themselves.