Public transport users often have to resign themselves to sharing a carriage with less than ideal travel companions, from those who spend the journey talking loudly on their phones, to those who take up several seats with their belongings even when the carriage is packed.
But putting up with a fellow passenger's stinky feet proved to be too much for one traveller on Monday.
A clash broke out between two Berliners seated diagonally opposite each other on the train; given that the carriage wasn't that full, the 54-year-old decided to rest his feet on the vacant space next to the 32-year-old – having removed his shoes and socks.
That didn't go down well with the younger man who took offence at the strong smell of his companion's feet, pushing them off the seat and complaining forcefully about his particular scent, according to a report in Tagesspiegel.
From there, the dispute escalated.
“A verbal confrontation developed, which ended with the stinky-footed man being forcefully slapped,” a police spokesperson said.
He added that the man with the objectionable feet had allegedly “seriously insulted” his younger fellow passenger.
The incident took place on an ICE train travelling from Basel, Switzerland, to Berlin – a journey which normally takes around seven hours. Both men were forced to leave the train at the next stop in Göttingen, where they were escorted to a police station. The older man faces charges of verbal abuse and the younger man of assault.
Next time the older passenger uses public transport he might think twice before he takes his shoes off.