This entry has been left until the last minute due to an extremely clumsy week. I managed to lose (in no particular order) my keys, debit card, £30 cash, a loaded Oyster card and my awareness of transport times. It all began on Halloween. Having previously written a Halloween-themed entry about growing up, I have decided to blame recent clumsiness on my cat ears, and plug my own previous work simultaneously.* Although I managed to find almost all lost items, waking up on the hall floor outside my locked bedroom door was an experience. Particularly when said-door results in being a cat until 4pm in the afternoon, wondering why we have doors.
As promised, Tube Behaviour is a topic that needs exploring. London Transport has character. A ‘Quote of the Day’ at certain tube stations thought to inspire commuters. The Underground is a confusing place and can leave you doubting humans. Tube crimes come in various forms; you’ll find little children, toddlers, pregnant women and disabled people having to stand due to the sheer ignorance of the commuter; absorbed in Candy Crush. Standing with these people is perhaps the worst experience of the underground; particularly when the toddler is crying. Making eyes at people in the seats (who are clearly able to stand) will not change the situation in any way. There is little shock at this behaviour, but huffing and puffing instead at the lack of space. Another underground observation is the late commuter; swearing at the tube they ran for, less than 1 minute ahead of the next one. Reading novels whilst walking is another bemusing tube behaviour seen underground, along with unnecessary bag-bashing and pushing.** Do people forget their public behaviours on the underground? Can you judge a person by their tube behaviour? The cost of Black Cabs and driving (where do you begin) explain why the Underground is so packed, but this does not explain tube behaviour. The streets are equally packed; why do we lose our identities in the mass of the underground, confident that our behaviour doesn’t matter?
Having experienced several taxi mishaps this week involving a taxi lecture about misuse of apps, and an almost- virtual taxi journey, I decided we are incredibly lucky to have the tube. After entering a national column competition in the last 22 minutes before the deadline, I realised that timekeeping may not be my best trait; self-reflection must be replaced with self-discipline. This new found self-discipline will also be extended to avoiding getting drunk with your best friend’s parents on a Wednesday (never advisable, however accidental) and going home instead of following a violent protest through Central London out of curiosity and/or writing inspiration.*** More on Fireworks and protest next week.
**N.B. there are thousands who do not commit tube crimes
***Currently mid-way through an article on Stereotypes for a peaceful social justice organisation, no intentional irony