Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Trempiquette (or Tremp-i-quiet)

Inspired by this post, I thought I'd mention a situation where I feel similar feelings of awkwardness when someone starts to talk to me.

Some background: As I mentioned in an earlier post, I tremp (hitchhike) to work. This saves me a lot of time (and honestly, some money as well.) I rely on the tremps, and I feel it is my responsibility to behave myself as well as possible on a tremp. This is both for ethical reasons, and the fact that a driver is much less likely to pick me up if it's not pleasant to do so.

Often I wait for rides at the trempiada either in Efrat or Jerusalem, and a number of people are gathered there. If I see someone I know, I try to be friendly - although there is an underlying aspect of competition, if only one seat is available in a particular ride.

The problem for me, however, occurs once I get in the car. Or better put, when we get in the car. Occasionally, a fellow trempist will try to strike up a conversation with me in the car. This is NOT GOOD! Unless the driver is talking to both of us, I don't want to say a word! Your (I'm speaking to the theoretical chatty co-trempist, not the theoretical reader of this blog) prattle might be fine in almost any other circumstance (except the bathroom, see above), but please don't make the driver resent us both! What if he wants some quiet time? What if he gets a phone call? Shush!

At some point I'll post on how I feel that giving a tremp today is like the "hachnasat orchim" of old, but today's mussar missive is for the tremp recipient, not donor.