What I have learnt from getting the tube

In order to get to work I have to take the London Underground twice a day. This is what I have learnt so far:

  1. Don’t make eye contact.
  2. Walk with purpose.
  3. Standing between the seats gives you priority on the next one that becomes free.
  4. There is nothing more awkward than realising that the person next to you is reading erotic fiction on their Kindle.
  5. Falling in love on the tube is a very real phenomenon (Yes, good looking stranger,  I did make eye contact more than once and then look away sheepishly).
  6. Lesson number 1 will be broken when the whole carriage watches in horror as a hysterically screaming child is dragged along the platform but fails to get on before the doors close. Everyone will exchange smiles and relieved looks.
  7. The only vocabulary you need while using the Underground is: “Excuse me. Sorry. Thank you. Sorry. Excuse me.” 
  8. The Central Line has an uncanny ability to be replaced by a sauna during heat waves.
  9. The appropriate response to seeing a man get stuck between the doors is to snigger and then continue reading the paper.
  10. No, you don’t want to know what that stain is.
  11. Get used to armpits during rush hour.
  12. I have yet to work out how the tube that I get at the same time every morning is either so full that I can’t get a seat, or completely empty.

Somehow, despite the fact that it seems to be fashionable to hate the London Underground, I still quite enjoy it although that might change next week when I have to start getting the DLR (Docklands Light Railway). Apparently, a whole new world of hell awaits me.


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