With all the wet weather we're having, it's a great time to talk about umbrellas and the metro. Umbrella etiquette on the metro is especially important because your fellow passengers are already cranky enough to begin with from the rain. Annoying them with your umbrella will only make it worse. Some metro stations have the lovely glass canopies to keep the rain off the escalator. This also means that you usually don't have to use your umbrella on the escalator. Brilliant! But for those stations without any protection over the escalator until you get inside the concrete tunnel, there are some common sense umbrella rules.
First, if you're standing (to the right, of course) please keep your umbrella over you and slightly off to the right. This allows the walkers to still pass you and your umbrella. If you're walking down the escalator, please be aware of the size of your umbrella and those you are passing. Poking other travelers in the eye as you descend will not make you very popular. As you are the one approaching the standers, it is your job to navigate your umbrella around theirs. You can move it over to the left, lift it over theirs, duck it under theirs, whatever works for each situation. If everyone keeps moving, everyone stays happy.
Once you are in the station, you suddenly have no need for your drippy umbrella. Some travelers like to shake theirs out as soon as they close it. Please be courteous of those around you and don't shake it out into someone else, or in an area where someone will slip and fall from your newly created puddle. Shake it out off to the side, or before you get onto the slippery tile in the stations.
Your umbrella will then drip on the platform while you wait for your train. It would be very nice if again you could make sure this occurs out of the way of others. Setting your umbrella down on one of the benches will leave a very unpleasant surprise for a later traveler who must actually sit on those benches.
Speaking of which, the same holds true for umbrellas and train seats! Sitting your waterlogged umbrella down on its own seat is one of the meanest ways to hog up seats on the train. Not only will no one want to readily sit down, once you vacate the area the next person will be left with your wet spot. If you're standing, holding your umbrella so that it swings around and drips on all the surrounding passengers will gain you a few enemies.
Finally, when leaving the station follow the same concept as arriving. Keep your umbrella from dripping on others, poking their eyes out, or sparring with their umbrellas. Everyone will go home a little more sane.