I know what you’re thinking; I’ve been quiet this month. Has the fire gone? Will we be getting positive, life-affirming lists from now? Will you fuck! I’ve just been taking some time to focus on the novel what I am writing, that’s all.
Here’s a short one to ease you back in.
I may be 300 miles away at the moment, but London’s transport system was the first thing I was glad to see the back of when I left.
More of the delightful people that might be one of your next travelling companions:
The school kid
Anonymous on their own, get a few together and they become the definition of obnoxious. Like the DJ, groups of males will play shit music through their crappy phone’s speakers and punctuate every second word with ‘fucking’. Groups of females will alternate between all trying to talk at the same time and trying to sing like Mariah Carey or harmonising.
They could be drunk, but if they’re in a suit then they could just have a ‘really fucking important’ job and be genuinely knackered. Some people will not go without a struggle, nodding themselves awake with every jolt or bump, checking they haven’t missed their stop then dropping back into their epic battle. Others just go with it, dribble and all. All of them share one thing though; that look of panic upon first waking up.
This person doesn’t really understand physics. All they know is, they want to get off the bus/train/tube and you are between them and door. The other twenty people in front of you waiting their turn to disembark are irrelevant; they want to get off now! If the invasion of your personal space isn’t enough, then they will proceed to shove you in your back to make their point further.
This is when you may break all the rules of travelling in London by making eye-contact with and talking to someone you don’t know (you turn around and tell them to ‘fuck off’).
A rare sight on trains and tubes these days thanks to super high fares, you can still spot them every now and then, usually late at night. Yes, they still ask for money, but some now do it in a more enterprising way. One fella on a train from Victoria with me a few years ago declared to the full carriage,
‘Yes I’m a tramp, but don’t worry, I’m not going to ask you for any spare change.’
After a collective sigh of relief, he continued, ‘But can someone lend me fifty quid till Tuesday?’
Makes you proud to be British.
The more extensive first part is available here.