If you know me you know I like to be firmly overground.
I’ve lived in London my entire life (apart from the 4 years I was at university) so the London Underground has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. Of course now I’m using it more than I did when I was 5 so I’ve noticed a fair few things that make the subterranean rabbit hole a crazy place. There’s a lot to get through so let’s begin.
Firstly let’s talk about underground stations. If the station says it’s Tottenham Court Road then I expect it to be on Tottenham Court Road. So why is it when I enter the station I am running through tunnels like some hamster in a lab experiment trying to search for this platform. And by the time I get there i’m probably in a new postal area, new time zone and different climate. When I get to the bottom of the escalator I expect the platform to be right there. I shouldn’t have to do some mad cardio and work for it.
Now let’s talk about general train etiquette. I’ve done the sums, I’ve thought it over but it makes absolutely no sense to try and get on the train before people have got off. Like calm down… you will make it on to the train you don’t need to be hasty about it. And this also means when you are waiting for people to get off, don’t stand right in the middle of the door. You are not Gandalf.
And when you are shuffling on to the train, keep your hands down. Don’t touch me. I want to get on this train just as much as you pal. I’m going as fast as I can you don’t need to push me.
Which leads on to another thing. Trains literally come every minute (unless it’s the District line). Trust me if you can’t get on this one there will be another one.
I know trains can get packed. I know our faces may be close together like we are in some tight embrace. But please keep your breaths shallow. I don’t want hot air on my face, especially not from your mouth. If I wanted hot air I’d speak to Arsene Wenger after Arsenal comfortably lose a game and talk of him leaving resurface.
Which leads us on to packed trains. If you’re by a seat and someone gets up and leaves but the train is still packed. Even if you don’t want to sit down, it makes logistical sense for you to take that seat. Because if you don’t, then some crazy person two carriages down will spot the seat and try and make their way through crowds of people to get there. Don’t give them that opportunity, just sit the hell down.
Seen a good looking boy/girl/person? Wanna give them a little pree but don’t want to make it obvious. The black of the tunnel makes for great reflections in the windows 😉
Actually, that’s a deeper problem. Do you ever just see someone on any public transport and you’re just infatuated. You look at them, they look at you for a split second and you instantly think you have some sort of connection. Then they get off and you never see them again…
Moving on… let’s actually talk about the District line and how much it sucks. So where I live the District line is the main underground line. Well i say “main” it’s the only line that goes where I live. So for a long time I thought this was my life I just had to deal with how awful the line was. But then I discovered the c2c so now life is a whole lot better. But sometimes getting the c2c just isn’t an option so there are some dark days where I have to board the dreaded thing. Firstly the train literally comes like every 15 minutes. Then when you get on one it has the cheek to wait at a station and say they’re regulating the service. What the heck are you regulating? You have no right. And why the bloody hell do you go so slow? It will literally travel at like 10mph between stations so by the time you get to your destination you could’ve made your way through a director’s cut of Titanic.
It’s not all doom and gloom though… actually it is. I was just about to compare it to the metro in New York but it’s only better in 2 respects and no one really cares about either of them. The first, there’s no second guessing whether a seat is available. On the metro in New York there are no dividers. It’s just one long bench. So there may be a space for your ghetto booty but you have to size it up before you actually go in for the kill. Also it’s a whole lot easier to understand. The trains on the metro are made up of letters and numbers instead of names. And it just makes everything a bit confusing. What the hell is an express train anyway.
But let’s talk about price shall we? What the hell are TFL doing with all our money? An unlimited travel card for a week in New York was $32! 32!. Can you actually believe that? In London that will only get you a week travel card over like 2 zones. It does make sense however that you are charged more depending on how many zones you go through but its at the point where a good chunk of your income is going on travel. Travelling is a necessity, just do us a solid yeah and slash those prices.
Anyway this is dragging on a bit I might actually have to make a part 2. To finish off though below is a definitive ranking of tube lines. Of course I take some lines more than others so I’m a bit bias but whatever.
10. Waterloo and City
11. Hammersmith and City
Actually one last thing. Why is there some excited American dude on the tannoy at Waterloo station? Making it sound like some NFL game.