Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Tube

Imagine, if you will, game of twister. One in which all the pads are rails on the ceiling.

A game of twister in which all the participants are strangers, and many of them don’t speak English. Where everyone involved is fully clothed – wearing big coats and scarves. Some of them are fat, some of them are sweaty, and a lot of them have bags - some very large bags. Picture this unlikely game of twister taking place underground in a very small enclosed space. That shakes and jerks around a lot.


The weird part is that I really don’t mind tube travel, it gets me where I’m going and it’s quicker and warmer than walking. I suppose it might be because I got so isolated at home that I appreciate any human contact, even if it is just being squished. It is a bit astonishing though - the way that people keep piling into tube trains until there isn’t any air between any part of your body and the bodies of the people around you – especially when you consider that at peak times the trains go through the station at the rate of about one every 2-3 minutes. Surely people aren’t afraid of being two minutes late?

It’s at times like that that I’m so very glad that I’m above average height for a bloke… I get the privilege of breathing air that isn’t filtered through someone else’s clothing.

Something else I’ve noticed is the way that commuters move in such rigid patterns. For example, the trains always stop in the exact same place and the hardened commuters just walk down the stairs and wait on the platform exactly where they know that the doors will be. I personally like taking a different route through London bridge underground station every day, I mean, you really should show your love for its multiple tunnelled craziness.


I’m pretty sure I saw Hugo Chavez on a train yesterday and another man who was stripping off and covering himself in lubricant in preparation for the next train.

I may have made the second one up… and I’m pretty sure Hugo Chavez doesn’t really take public transport… and even if he did then he’d be very lost if he was getting on the northern line at moorgate.

Everyone knows that it’s the District that goes to Venezuela… bloody tourists.