Let’s Play ‘What’s Grosser?’

Image by Flickr user muilak

Rachael posted an interesting question on the Muni Diaries Facebook Page yesterday:

Maybe I’m weird about germs but to me walking around barefoot is no more/less gross than touching everything on the bus then sitting down to eat a sandwich. Why do people eat on Muni?

Which led me to wonder which was actually grosser. I haven’t decided yet, but I’ve probably spent too much time thinking about it already.

The floor is just plain grody. I’ve let bare legs and bare hands touch seats and rails before even thinking about putting a bag on the floor. I think we can agree that the chicken and formaldehyde combo platter is an appetite-killer for all involved. But Muni riders snack on food that isn’t stuck to the window all the time, and it doesn’t always bother me. That said, we use our bare hands to eat, sometimes before washing our hands when we’re late to dinner and about to eat a limb for sustenance. OK, maybe by we, I mean me.

But, which is worse? Barefoot riding or eating while riding?


  • Ginger

    I am way WAY more grossed out by people eating on the bus (which you’re not supposed to do anyway) because they’re putting all the feces/flu/urine/sweat/saliva germs of the bus straight into their mouths. Wash your hands, people, after you ride the bus and before putting your hands near your mouths.

  • AlexJB

    Touching your food with your bare hands after riding MUNI is basically like licking random surface X,Y,Z on the bus/train, which is *extremely* gross.

    That said, the same applies to touching your food with your bare hands in general without washing them first. What kind of barbarian are you, anyway? Or are you working on maintaining a certain low level of exposure to infection to keep your immune system awake?

    I eat sandwiches or whatever on MUNI, but with a napkin, thanks.

    By comparison, the barefoot thing isn’t that big a deal, at least for the person doing it. As long as their foot surface is intact (which, if they’re barfooting, it probably won’t be for long). But I have been thinking a lot recently about how many women run around in flip flops or open ‘shoes’ that are barely more than a 2 mm thick piece of leather on the bottom with nothing on top. To me, especially on MUNI, that’s basically begging to get your little piggies stepped on, or covered in fluids or goodness knows what else. *very* unappealing!

  • So, eating seems to be edging out bare feet, unless you get ew, fluids or something on them. I’m inclined to agree, mostly because feet seem hardier than hands you eat with. And people hopefully don’t have to deal with your footstank like they would with your chicken dinner next door.

    Yeah, it’s gross, but I start eating sometimes and then realize I didn’t wash my hands after getting off the bus. I also haven’t gotten sick in almost a year, but unsure if those things are related.

  • Eating on Muni is definitely gross – and hello? Isn’t it also against the rules?
    A woman next to me on the 22 the other day was eating some really foul smelling chips. I opened all the windows but it was still overpowering.
    But bare feet seems really gross to me… I just can’t imagine why you’d walk around a city or on public transit without shoes (assuming you had some to begin with!)

  • BusGorilla

    Skin is resistant to the germs on the bus, while eatting on the bus is both actually unhygenic, toward yourself and to others.

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