Ahhhhh the Tube. The glorious, wonderful web of underground trains that weave around the city like little worms, taking us to our destinations with ease (apart from most weekends when there are ‘improvements’ – what are these ‘improvements’ they make, because I’m yet to see an improved station) It is a weird and wonderful thing, this system, full of unpredictable, interesting people that love to not talk to each other. So I thought I would jot down a few little observations that I have noticed while commuting to and from work every day.
If you don’t have Candy Crush Saga downloaded on your iPhone then you’re not riding the tube properly and you’re just not cool.
You become stupidly great at acting non-the-wiser to any kind of weirdo sitting next to you/commotion next to you/group of youths throwing McDonalds chips at you. You just simply sit there like ‘oh I didn’t notice you barfing up your happy hour cocktails I was way too busy playing Candy Crush’. Inside, you are seething.
You can’t resist a bit of style gazing at the other commuters. Inside you are bursting to know where she got her cute sandals from but you simply CANNOT ask because no-one talks to strangers on the tube.
You get on a nod-and-smile basis with the platform attendant at your local station, not even in a flirty way. The one at Kilburn is a fudging legend.
People eating on the tube. I mean. Each to their own. But WHY. People get on here who don’t wash their hands and that splutter their germs around. WHY are you touching that seat and then holding your burger and licking your fingers? OMG. *Shudder*
You’re sense of smell heightens dramatically. Like, you can smell that guy over there who is going to work straight from Browns strip club. You will never get used to, or like the sweaty, stale beer smell. It’s not sexy and it’s not cool.
People get VERY aggy when you stand too close to them. And this happens a lot. Because the tube can very similarly be associated with a tin of sardines. The tutting and sighing doesn’t help guys. Nor does the fact you don’t have room to play Candy Crush. Just sayin’.
You can find some incredibly talented people on La Tube. I was on the Jubes (Jubilee Line) yesterday and this cute little old guy was sketching some amazing shit out, like, seriously amazing. This does clash with point #2 because people actually commented on how good he was. But that was rare guys, RARE.
People become OBSESSED with their bags. If you live in London, you kind of get a knack of packing your bag so more expensive things can’t be accessed by those pesky pickpockets. But tourists NEED to have their bags right there in front of them, with their arms crossed around it like they are guarding the crown jewels or something. It’s quite entertaining.
So, in London, pregnant people are issued with a little badge that says ‘Baby on Board!’ – sweet, right? But SOMETIMES. Just sometimes, pregnant women don’t want to put those badges on because they don’t want to stand out as being some kind of pregnant woman. Which they are, but, yeah, you know what I mean. So, imagine being on a crowded tube, and someone offers their seat to this ‘pregnant lady’ who turns out to not be impregnated but just an apple shaped women, then BAM. Enter, awkwardness.
People are just impatient in London in general. We rush about everywhere like our pants are on fire when really, we should be kicking back and enjoying this beautiful city in which we live. But when you get down to the Tube, that impatience and aggression TRIPLES. You get hot, flustered, pushed and scowled at. But for some people, the ‘MOVE DOWN THE TRAIN OR I’LL KNOCK YOUR BLOCK OFF’ kind of people, go the extra mile in the impatient marathon. They WILL shout, they WILL push, they WILL be a massive tool.
People with dogs will make everyone around them happy and smiley. More people should have dogs.
Whatever you do, do not ever, EVER play music out loud on your phone. It is the most annoying thing, EVER. No thanks, I don’t want to go my whole tube journey with your phone screeching some kind of words into my ear. No thanks, I just want to sit quietly and play my game.
If you don’t give up your seat for an elderly person then you don’t have a heart. At the same time I have offended some elderly-ish people because I haven’t yet figured out the correct age that counts as elderly. Again, awkward.
Lastly, the seats on the tubes are for bottoms to sit on. Not your bag. Do not put your bag on that seat if the tube is busy because someone most likely WILL give you a death stare.
That’s it folks, I hope I haven’t put you off the tube if you are coming to visit London. It is an experience and it is a part of the city, and yes it may not be glam, but it’s quick and easy and to be honest it is pretty great.
I’d love to hear any experiences you may have had on the London Underground, I am sure there are many great stories out there!!