Monday, 29 August 2011

London Underground

Apologies for the extremely lame title. I have spent today trying to create as much text as I could as fast as possible. If you look at the DUR page tomorrow, it is all by me. And probably riddled with errors, but there you go.

Thanks to the resulting brain crash (much like pushing it with physical exercise, I find too much stress on my brain creates a massive slump later on) I do not have much to share today, so I will let off steam about something which is on my mind every day, twice a day, because I commute.

Tips for Tube travellers: 

  • Your journey is the most important. Anyone who gets in your way or is trying to get past you is merely unaware of this. Let them know as often as it takes. 

  • It's really boring sitting on a train speeding through a tunnel. Liven things up for everyone by having a loud, inane conversation with a friend, or any random stranger foolish enough to make eye contact.

  • Don't bother working out your journey before you go through the barriers. There are lots of maps and signs on the walls and it is customary to congregate in front of them in large groups. 

  • Bringing a pushchair on the Underground is a great way to help beleaguered commuters relax by exposing them to your charming children. They will also enjoy the obstacle course you create for them by parking it right in front of the doors.

  • The right side of the escalator is reserved solely for you to stand on. Enjoy!

  • If you can't be bothered to work out a route, don't worry - grab a member of staff and demand that they give you directions. Better yet, ask a fellow traveller, especially anyone who looks in a hurry. Bonus points for changing your mind about where you want to go and refusing to take the Bakerloo line because you don't like the colour brown. 

  • There are two approaches to getting off a Tube train. The first is to wait until after all the other passengers have disembarked and then dashing after them, stepping on as many feet as possible and pushing past anyone trying to get on. The second is to hover in front of the doors for several stops before yours, just in case the announcer is lying. 

  • When getting off a Tube train, be sure to stop right in front of the doors and look around you slowly. 

  • When boarding a train, try to stand directly in front of the doors before they open. As soon as they do, push your way inside through all the people trying to get off, ignoring all signs, announcements and protests that suggest the opposite. You want to get a seat, after all. 

  • Repeating "Mind the gap" after every announcement is a joke that never gets old. Ever. 

  • If you are travelling with small children, let them take turns in pulling the emergency alarm. 

  • Wait until you are positioned right in front of the ticket barrier before fishing in your bag for your ticket or Oyster card. 

  • If you have a large bag or backpack, make sure you board the most crowded carriage you can find. Give yourself a bit of a rest by leaning on other people. 

  • The Tube is basically one big book club. If you see anyone reading anything, ask them what they think of it. If they don't answer, it must be really good - press them for information. 

  • Newspapers are strictly rationed, so it is customary to read over other people's shoulders. Feel free to let them know if they are turning the pages too fast for you. 

  • A crowded Tube train is the perfect place to try out all those new ringtones you downloaded. 

  • When leaving a Tube station, bear in mind the sad fact that there is never enough London for everyone. Push, shove and step on people. 

I'm sure there are more, but that's enough helpful advice to be getting on with for now. Bitter, moi?


P.S.: If the song is still stuck in your head, you are probably a destined commuter. My commiserations. 


  1. Spoken like a true angry Londoner. ;)

  2. I shall remember all your helpful tips, when next I travel in London, and endear myself to all commuters!