Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Riding the tube...
Riding the Tube to work is not for the weak of heart.
You arrive on the platform with a poster of George Clooney staring back at you. A daydream of your blissful marriage together runs through your mind when a gush of wind dishevels your hair that was perfect 10 minutes ago when you glanced in the mirror before you popped out the door. The other Londoners on the platform shift subtly. They may look unruffled and engrossed in their Metros but really they are preparing for battle
As the tube speeds into the station, three things run through your mind.
1. Which carriage is the least crowded
2. Which carriage has the cutest boys
3. Which carriage will you be most likely to find an abandoned Metro laying around in.
With all these thoughts running through your head, plus the quick prayer ever since the terror alert was raised to severe, you shove your way onto the train, holding onto your purse for dear life. The doors close, and you are on your way to work.
When thought one is complete, and the train is safely moving, you can move on to processing the other two thoughts. After a cursory glance around; you will usually see at least one decent guy and 10 Metros. However, since you are squeezed in the tube near a pregnant lady and a Henry Higgins wannabe, the chances of coming into contact with either is quite small.
However, by the fourth stop it tends to clear up a little, and you can grab a Metro, usually left by the Jude Law look alike as he leaves the train. By the time you get to the story about the second ever pregnant man, its time to switch trains. You race up the stairs and across the station to the much less crowded Northern line, where 9/10 times there will be a seat waiting for you which is a welcome relief if you have idiotically decided to wear heels that day to work. You settle down with your Metro and continue on to the Mornington Crescent tube station.
When you arrive you spritely mind the gap and take the 66 (yes, there is a sign telling you how many) steps up to ground level. You grasp your oyster card for dear life, and swipe out of the station, deftly avoiding the people handing out flyers, magazines, etc. After that it's just a hop, skit and a jump across the street into the office.
Then, eight hours later, the routine begins again. There is jostling, it is smelly; the only noticeable difference is that the Metro has been replaced by the Evening Standard.
Once arriving back at Earls Court you have one more challenge: avoiding both the adjoining bakery and the Kabob place down the street.
Like I said, riding the tube is not for the weak of heart.