Sunday, August 27, 2006

The Tube Around London - My Pros & Cons!!

Well to be perfectly honest there is no way I would ever complain about the tube. It is most ridiculously frequent, even on the weekends its about 7-8 minutes, which is longish when they come every 1-2 min during the week.

You are warned well in advance of any "planned engineering works". Then you are given up to the minute information whilst you are on it, and even if someone commits suicide under a train they announce that too - obviously they don't want to have the public blame them for delays so that is what they say... So really on that what bus in Adelaide do you ever know when its going to be late or not come ....hummm none. Plus the tube covers all of London and the staff are always helpful, especially if you are lost - I never am, much, hummm. Nah really it’s all good!

Oh and the other thing I love about the tube is the "stand to the right" rule. This is obeyed by all, local, tourist, young, old, tall, short - you just do it, and be prepared for the blasting if you don't!!! This law is more obeyed then any government, traffic, rule or regulation ever - lets put it this way you'd have better luck cheating at monopoly or having a mobile phone on on a plane then beating this rule!!

On the down side - yes still a bit of a downside. It's quite hot in summer and its a bit less hot in winter (though I think this counts as a plus then). It's expensive to travel on, some of the tube lines are quite noisy (think am getting deafer for sure taking the Central line – my goodness the rattling on some of the straight stretches!!) and you get tube dust up your nose (i.e. black snot). That also comes from the fact that most cars run on diesel, so the extra carbon in the air also gives rise to black snot. However, diesel is better than carbon dioxide - i guess.

Anyway the annoying things about the tube....Usually its the people who are annoying, like the chic who dives from half way down the carriage to take the seat of the person you were standing in front of (thus that seat is really rightfully yours if that person gets up), only because you have to move out of the way to let them off. So giving her the perfect opportunity to take the seat (ugh). Then there is the people who have their headphones on really loud, worse still those who don't bother with the head phones at all and allow the entire carriage to be entertained by hip hop rap crap or whatever annoying music - and let me tell you they never play it softly either.

There is more – the people who;
- sit down for one stop when its busy
- let the children take up seats during school holidays - they travel for free, so they should stand - attempt to read the paper when the carriage is completely full and you're all practically bursting out the door.
- have incredibly odorous bodies
- do not move further inside the carriage when its peak hour and you have to kamikaze your way in the door, then they have the cheek to give you a dirty look for shoving them (thought the dirty look doesn't ever come from daily commuter’s, just tourists - who quite honestly should not be on the tube at those times).
- Insist on diving into a fully loading train when another one is due in 1 minute!!! Really.

Oh, I am so bad, the day after writing this I broke two of these rules – one I sat down for a stop, the carriage had two other people on it, so I don’t think this counts.

Then two, I dived into a “sardine can” carriage for one stop. I had to, I was late for work and had already missed my stop at London Bridge (I was reading, listening to music, and the train was too busy to see out the window). The trains were having “minor” delays (read trains will have little delays all day long) so people were piling in just to avoid the long waits for trains. It was as bad as I have ever seen, and I was the only person at the Bermondsy station to get on the train, as I just went up and said "alright you lot move it I am only going one stop, let me on". There were a few groans, but I got on - yippee for me!

Mark nearly gets to be a “sardine” everyday on his train, but he waits 3 minutes for the next "non-sardine train" to arrive. It must be pretty bad though for him because he actually emailed National Rail and Thameslink trains to complain – he has to be pretty bothered for that to happen. They came back with a brilliant long email as to why it was so - seems they just don't have enough carriages. This apprently stems from the fact that they lease the trains and there are no more available for them to lease!!

1 comment:

Heather said...

Ohhhh! Love it.

Con: People who look up, see a pregnant woman, then quickly bury their head in a book or simply don't care. The Tube is appaling for this.

Pro: contractors get an excellent hourly rate, cheap travel and enough down-time to maintain a blog :) Bless you London Underground!