Living in London can mean that life is one big blur of business. As someone who has always lived in some part of the Capital, I have somewhat been used to it. There are good points, like the sheer amount of great bars and restaurants on offer. There is also art, culture and everything in between.
If you work in London then you are likely to get a higher wage than that out of the capital and there are many more opportunities. However, out of all of the good points of London there is one bad. It is the one that can ruin your day and your mood and ultimately be one of the most stressful environments to be around. Travelling in rush hour or the morning and evening commute to work is an absolute killer.
I don’t think it is anything you can get used to. I have been travelling in and out of London on the tube and the overground for most of my life and I still find myself completely overwhelmed some days, like I found myself today.
I live in Hackney, which means I rely on the London Overground and the tube to get me to work in Soho. My journey tonight took me two hours, something which on a good day can take 45 minutes door to door. Unfortunately I hit two of the most busy stations at that time – Oxford Circus and Highbury & Islington. My journey today ended up in a uber home, so you can tell it wasn’t the best.
I have a lot of pet peeves about the tube and a commute. I find that a lot of people become utter arseholes and the whole experience can be awful. No one needs to have someones bum rubbing against their own do they? I absolutely hate people’s hair touching me too. People get in my way so I move because they are too close only for them to move into the space i created to make it worse. Little things like this happen daily. It is annoying but I can just about deal with it.
Getting on a train has become quite a scary obstacle. If you are commute savvy then you will know that if you don’t get yourself to the edge of the platform then it is likely you wont get on the train. I have pretty bad anxiety over this as I stand there thinking about the fact that someone could get pushed forward and then you’ll be on the tracks. It doesn’t help that stops like Oxford Circus get so windy you feel like you are in the scene of Bridget Jones’s Diary when she’s in the car on the way to her dirty weekend with Daniel Cleaver. After all that, you get crushed onto a packed train, with no one waiting for people to get off and being pushed and shoved and ending up in an awkwardly bent position til it’s your stop and you get spat out like an olive pit.
London can be absolutely incredible, but a commute can kill the soul and slowly drain even the truest of Londoner’s patience. Maybe this is why so many millenials choose to work as a freelancer to avoid putting themselves through the pain and torture of the overground.
So, if you catch yourself on a train at 8.30 in the morning, there’s a few do’s and don’ts to stand you in good stead;
- DON’T have your music so loud it can be heard through your shitty tinny headphones
- DON’T lean on a pole and have it stick in between your arse cheeks – it is for people to hold on to
- DO let people off the train before you swarm on. You get annoyed if it is the other way around
- DO let pregnant women sit down. I have seen people refuse
- DO let people sit down if they have lots of bags on them or don’t look very well
- DON’T flick your hair in peoples faces or on their hand (I am sure I am not the only one who hates this)
- DON’T look annoyed when people try to hold on to something
- DON’T eat smelly food, especially when it is busy. Fried chicken, smelly crisps and tuna sandwiches are a big fat NO
- DON’T feel someone up just because it is busy and you think you can get away with it (this is a completely other issue but relevant nonetheless)
- DON’T talk over peoples heads, its rude
- DON’T talk to someone on the phone and say the phrase “I’m just on the train” because it is incredibly fucking annoying
- DO have your ticket or oyster card ready at the exit rather than stop and get in everyones way
There is probably a lot more to be added, but you get the jist. Trasnport rants can happen anywhere but I don’t think anything in the UK is quite like the London commute.