What are you doing in a commuter train?

When I visited England in 2008, one of the things I noticed was that many of the people in a commuter train to London were reading the newspaper. A long time ago, we could see the same scene in commuter trains in Japan, but now seeing people pressing keys on a cellphone is more common. Do I need more cases to come to an conclusion on this phenomenon?

cellphone → cell phone
an conclusion → a conclusion

I thought that there was no room to hold a newspaper on some Japanese commuter trains! It might be more comfortable to use mobiles. I always carry a paperback with me whenever I’m on a train. These days there are free newspapers provided at tube and train stations, not only in London, and you see lots of people read those (and then leave them behind, adding considerably to the cleaning costs of the respective operators).

“There was no room to hold a newspaper on some Japanese commuter trains.”
This was true , and is still true. In a crowded train, you could read the pages of the newspaper that is in front of your eyes without using your hands. The problem is that the person who holds the paper read faster than you, and vice versa. You are not supposed to ask him or her to read faster or more slowly.

read faster → reads faster

What do I usually do on a train?

I love observing people!
It is very interesting to see a young couple having an argument over a trivial thing,
or school-girls gossiping about pop-stars.

I am too busy observing passengers to study English (or any other thing ) on a rain.

Same same! Observing people, or eavesdropping, can be great fun, especially on your way home after a night of drinking. Other than that, I read a book, or just watch the landscape.