Monday, 21 January 2013

The commute, an outsiders view...

The morning commute is a routine task, one us London based people do regularly even daily but as a routine for a city full of people who don’t connect, who like their personal space, and hate those who get in their way it is one of little sense.

I start with the usual cigarette to calm my nerves before boarding my train, full of dread for the inevitable. I find a perch not a chair, a perch behind a man with a rather large backpack and spend the first train ride having my right breast crushed by his lack of spacial awareness of the object he has used to extend his own body mass. I worry during this as my right boob is my favourite of the two, being only slightly bigger than the other it’s safety is of upmost importance to me.

Once at the underground I literally wrestle my way onto the smaller metal cylinder so I can be hurtled towards my destination, and try to make sure I have enough room to actually put both feet onto the floor and not spend the time balancing like a flamingo grasping an oyster card and metro.
Standing very close to me, very near to my face is a slightly shorter girl who had obviously used a very powerful mouthwash that she is breathing directly up my nostrils throughout the journey. I often make accidental eye contact with strangers but look away quickly as the mistake I made the day before of smiling led to a glaring death stare.

Occasionally the announcer takes the time to tell off a mystery commuter, with the singsongy voice of a primary school teacher to keep all items out of the way of the doors and to not lean on them, at every stop, leading to accusing looks from fellow passengers at anyone remotely near to the door.
When not glaring at the shamed near the door we glare at the people victorious in their seats, sitting smugly with a distinct lack of armpits near to their face.

Eventually I emerge, like a broken stressed phoenix into the outside world, only to see previous commuters walking by with their pathetic cardboard coffee cups like trophies to show they too survived.
And so I walk, realising that I missed the ability to move my feet and also that my sinuses have been strangely cleared by the mouthwash, maybe too clear. That was some damn strong mouthwash.

1 comment:

  1. I can't imagine having to do that every single day. I commuted in morning rush hour in London once and that is in my top 5 of worst experiences. Possibly only Tokyo morning commute could be worse. But then, I did commute on a train every day when I was in Japan (in a lot smaller town situated right between two giants: Osaka and Kobe) and it wasn't anywhere near as bad as London. The worst thing was that if you were lucky enough to grab a seat (morning rush hour art, mastered by salarymen and ancient grandmas), you had to be prepared that some sleeping passenger on the right (or left) might lean on you while he sleeps for the whole 11 minutes of that train line.