I hate it when I am sitting down in the streetcar, and then, uninvited, another rider sits opposite me. Well there goes my ability to thoughtlessly gaze about completely unobstructed. Now I have to not look in the direction of this other passenger. It is perfectly kosher to shoot an introductory glance; a "I'm making sure you're not packing heat" look. But after that, any eye contact whatsoever is strictly off limits. If I ever catch another passenger looking at me, I actually feel like I can declare a minor victory. Gotcha you sonofabitch.
But now I have this other passenger across from me, seated facing towards me. The situation couldn't be more awkward. We are looking right at each other, but can't actually look at each other. I can only glance to either side of their head (and the head has an associated buffer zone on either side where I can't look either). This makes for awkward transitions when I have to cross the Romulan Neutral Zone as quickly as possible to get to the other side of their head, to look out the opposite window (did I just unknowingly admit that I was/am a Star Trek nerd? Thanks dad).
I usually end up fumbling with my hands to pass the time. Or I scribble notes to make the other person nervous (when travelling, I always keep a little note pad and pen in my coat pocket in case I suddenly think of something to write in this blog. When I was sitting there, I realized the humor in this situation and jotted down a little note to help me remember, but simultaneously freaked out the girl sitting across from me. Here's this sketchy looking dude who laughed out loud to himself, whips out a pen and pad and scribbles jibberish on it).
Just had to vent,