Rant from a Londoner

imageI avoid using public transport but for one of the jobs I have, there’s no other choice but to jump on the underground to get to work. This job requires me to start at 6pm and I have to travel from Canary Wharf to White City – busy stations due its amenities. Canary Wharf is the city’s financial hub and is bustling with business people and bankers in suits and ties, dresses and skirts, shoes which click with every step and a buzz that is different to every other area in the Capital. White City, on the other hand, is home to one of the largest shopping malls in the country and people there are generally younger, dressed more casual and louder than their more reserved Canary Wharf counterparts.

I left my office at 5pm giving myself an hour to get to my next job. I dread it because I know exactly what to expect. Rush hour – not for the light hearted. As I enter the underground station at Canary Wharf, I brace myself for an almighty struggle on my journey. In all fairness, waiting for a train at this station is not so bad. People are civilised and queue up which makes it easier to get on the train without ending up in someone’s armpit. The problem is the changeover I have to make. My journey requires me to take the Jubilee Line to Bond Street and then change for the Central Line.

For those of you who are not familiar with Bond Street, it is on Oxford Street and is one stop after Oxford Street station. It is one the busiest areas in London with thousands of shoppers. The jubilee line passes through around 10 stops before reaching Bond Street and with each stop, the number of commuters increase and the train seems to get smaller and smaller. With the rare summertime weather we are facing, the extraordinary heat on the underground is not something I can get accustomed to. Coupled with the fact that there is a lack of proper ventilation, the journey becomes very uncomfortable, especially for someone like me who needs personal space.

The journey annoys me but something bothers me more than this. The underground is stuffy making it hard to get fresh air. I don’t know if its because of this, but people seem to magically forget that there are hundreds of people around them, as if the lack of oxygen affects their ability to think things through. The following are the most annoying for me:

– large queue of people impatiently waiting to get to platform or exit. Queue moves slowly and as you reach the front of the queue, you realise the extra delay is because people are stood in one spot, having a chat. I mean come on! Find a better place to catch up on your life!

– being stuck in a carriage with people and there’s a bad smell from someone’s armpits. This applies to both men and women. In this country, we are obsessed and conscious about our personal hygiene. Why doesn’t this apply for some people?! Just to add a further note, bad underarm smell is bad, but releasing gas on the carriage is not acceptable. At all.

– when I am lucky enough to get a seat on the train and a woman stands right in front of me. I can feel her eyes staring at me, almost willing me to stand up and offer her a seat. I consider myself to be a gentleman but if you are not elderly, pregnant, disabled, or have a child, you can stand. After all, men and women are equal right?

– people that lean on the doors. Why? We all know any pressure on the doors causes the train to jolt. Stand up straight and stop leaning on the door!

– chicken and chips on the train. Don’t do it. It smells bad. In fact, food should be banned from the underground.

– I love reading a good book or an interesting article in the papers. But please be considerate. If the train is packed, please put it away. You are taking up extra space by stretching your arm to read the damn thing!

There you have it. My little rant on the public transport system in London. Am i overreacting to the situation and do I lack patience? Feel free to share your thoughts!

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