How long have you lived in London? A few months?
You do not have the *RIGHT* to hate the tube yet, not properly. What you are felling is mild irritation and possibly anger, but not the bone-deep dread of catching the tube that long-term residents have.
Come back in ten years' time, and we *might* let you hate the tube, if you provide documentary evidence (any documentary will do, really, maybe Attenborough, that's good, or the one about penguins, oh, or the one about the sweary kid from the seventies).
the bone-deep dread of catching the tube that long-term residents have
I've lived here 9 years; I don't hate the tube. Clearly something is amiss.
It's probably more shock. Being a cyclist I'm just not USED to such horrors. I normally catch the tube in the evenings when it is, if not nice, at least reasonable. Having to travel with all the job-people was quite a surprise.
And not a nice one
Bitch! I wondered who'd trodden on my briefcase.
I'm sure your briefcase is nicer than the soft bag-slash-briefcase thing this chap had.
Or perhaps not...
As I did this some business man threw himself across the carriage, literally chucked himself towards the seat, barging past standing ladies, arm flung forward using his briefcase to claim the empty seat.
This used to happen to me all the time. Wouldn't have been so bad if I wasn't on crutches with my leg entirely encased in a cast at the time!
The tube is a nasty place filled with, as you say, selfish, elbowing, inconsiderate fuckers. My mum fell and broke her finger on the escalators at King's Cross a few weeks ago. As she lay on the ground, commuters walked around her and no-one offered any assistance. Nice.
If I hadn't "accidentally" stomped his briefcase on my exit the whole thing would have left quite a nasty taste in my mouth.
Caspian needed more mouse. But not to the point of making sexual references to teddy bears as he did in Five children and It where he needed more hook.
Its a dog eat dog eat available seat in the city. You're either a winner or a stander. Manners are dead long live MY RIGHTS AS A CONSUMER which seems to have worked its way into everything these days due to a tendency to measure everything in terms of cost and market value
There's no need to let healthy-looking ladies have a seat ahead of you. Of course, if a particular lady looks to be wilting, it is polite to let her have the seat, but that'd go for an infirm-looking man, too.
It's nice of you to be gentlemanly, but in this case it is misguided. Ladies aren't necessarily weak.
he should offer his lap to sit on.
I'm not saying they are- and opening doors and offering seats to women is not a declaration of their weakness, merely the polite actions of a (quasi) gentleman. And there is no NEED to let lasses have a seat before I sit, that's why I wouldn't offer were I already sitting, but s'just the done thing, innit?
You'll get used to it. People stopping at the bottom of escalators, f'rinstance. The crowning pinnacle must surely be the family who stacked their suitcases there, which I saw the other day.
I was stuck in the damn of commuters at Paddington last week who were stuck behind two girls having a conversation in the main entrance to the circle and district line and thus reducing the space available to people entering and leaving the platforms to one on either side of them. This was 8.30am too!
London Transport has also conveniently placed maps at the bottom of many escalators, thus encouraging large crowds of tourists/lost people to gather, impeding the exit of people who know which platform they would like to access.
Have seen/had this happen a lot and it pisses me right off. I try to sneeze on such offenders.
Ladies are very capable blah blah but the world would be a bit nicer if we were offered seats first. (after the elderly & preggos, natch)
This is because you're not actually a born an bred Londoner, or at least someone who's been in the smoke for years. The bigger the community people live in the ruder and less considerate they get (its true, they’ve done studies on these things). I mean, I’m from Reading and while we’re not talking rural idyll of community spirit it is far more polite than my experiences of London (which are plentiful). Reading’s smaller. And we all know each other. I was once almost felled by my shock at someone saying 'after you' to me when boarding a tube train. They were Australian.
That said I’ve always had this strange fascination with the tube (because I’m not from London) but I blame Neil Gaiman for that. It is really convenient, far more convenient that Reading buses anyway. Unless I’m going a long way (like this weekend I went ALL THE WAY TO FINCHLEY and I was in stilettos) on the tube I don’t sit down. I always worry about what I’ll be sitting on.
I think the bigger the community the ruder they are probably stems from the greater likelihood of bumping into the same person again tomorrow and teh day after and the day after in smaller communities. I noticed my attitude to other people change once I moved out of the city, not that I think I was generally rude per se, but I was certainly more inclined to be short with people who were annoying me or sarcastic to people who let the door go in my face than I am now. Also people get stressed in crowds.
And James, you have just as much right to hate the tube as the Londoners - hell, they've had longer to get used to it, you still have the initial shock to deal with.
But Birmingham is massive and generally quite polite. Strangers don't look at you like you've just shat in their handbag if you strike up a conversation on the bus.
Neil Gainman + Tube= Roflcopters
Well that's a news flash if ever I heard one(!)
says, try living in London for several years (25 in my case), then you can bitch about it.
When you spend an hour commuting to and from the house that is a billion miles from the centre of London (well zone 3), you have the right to despise the tube.
One of the few good things about my job, is because I either get in early or leave late or more likely to both, I miss rush hour!
Well, you will live in London ;)
My friend Mark (you met him at the party this weekend) fell down the Leicester Sq tube station stairs once and winded himself - everyone carried on walking down as if nothing had happened until one woman strolled past and flipped him 50p.
Love that place...
I reckon that if I ever needed a seat on the tube (say if I had a broken leg/was pregnant) I would sit on the lap of anyone who I felt was taking the piss.
You, however, I salute.
Luckily, I no longer work in London.