Trains are a strange place to be. There are always a strange breed of human mixed in with the regular commuters, just trying to get to work in one piece without having to face the ultimate weirdo. Sometimes these people are almost normal, and are just trying to get the most done on their commute, however this can ultimately make them center of attention on a packed out carriage in the early hours of the morning.
Other times, people are just downright weird.
Many people seem intent on ignoring the strange behaviour, and it’s become a thing that Londoner’s do now – we’re so used to the strange train activities that we just fade into the background and become part of the train till it’s time to jump onto the platform, and run towards the light at the top of the escalators. Or catch the next train, depending on how unlucky you are.
There’s been some hilariously outrageous train journeys had by many, including pervy men, people losing their balance, free lap-dancers, overly friendly fellow passengers and, of course, a travelling band.
- One of my cousins once asked a man if he could move his bag from the seat next to him, so she would have a place to sit. He offered her his lap to sit on. Smooth.
- Another cousin almost fainted while on the tube during rush hour. As she fell back, a very helpful man tried to catch her, but she mistook this random act of kindness as a stranger trying to cop a feel, so she quickly ripped his fingers away, and ran off the train at the next stop. Which wasn’t even where she needed to go.
I think we can all establish here that London commuters are fiesty as hell, even when they’re losing consciousness.
- The tubes can be tricky to stand on, what with the sudden starts and stops at stations, not to mention the random stops between platforms, so it’s no wonder that occasionally you get someone who trips a bit. One of the most sadistically satisfying thing to witness is someone who goes to grab the pole, but fails, trips, tries to regain their balance, but ultimately ends up on the floor. And the best part is the typical London reaction – ignore it till it inevitably goes away. Unless it’s crushing you. In which case continue to ignore it and suffer in silence.
Worst case scenario comes when you trip on the tube, and accidentally end up sitting in someone’s lap…
- Eating alone in public is a skill that I do not have. I hate it, and am paranoid that people stare at me while I eat, alone. Therefore it fascinates me when people do it, except for on a train. I cannot stand it when people eat on a train. Train’s are infested with germs, and are usually packed out, and they’re always warm which intensifies the disgusting smell and makes it travel further along the carriage. During the 2012 Olympics (that bloody event caused me nothing but grief!) every hour was rush hour on the tube. I was on my way to work, in the sweltering heat, in a moderately packed carriage (there was enough room to breathe) when someone decided that that was a great time to crack open his box of sushi.
It was not. Imagine the smell of warm fish mixed in with the smell of the underground. It was just awful.
For future reference, if you are hungry on your commute – just don’t eat your food, please. Unless it’s odourless.
- Another amazing occurrence on the tube is the “Make Up Commuter” – the women who leave their house dressed but with the face of a zombie, and then grab a seat on the train so they can fix up their face. Full on makeup is quickly applied as they sit there with their magic makeup bag, tweezing out stray eyebrow hairs, applying a coat of liquid foundation, contouring their face, and expertly applying their eyeliner, which sounds like a massive gamble but somehow turns out looking okay??? They then fill in their eyebrows before shoving everything back into a massive bag, and then strutting off the train looking like a totally different person. I can’t even put my makeup on standing still, yet these superhuman’s manage it even with the jerking starts/stops and the odd businessman tripping over in the middle of the carriage. How, how, how?
- The absolute worst is when someone decides to take advantage of the fact that everyone is packed closely together, and not-so-discreetly tries to discreetly rub up against you. Please, oh please, for the love of God don’t do that. That’s a wild invasion of personal space, which is hard considering the circumstances. So for crying out loud get your hips and your body as far away from me as is humanly possible before I slap that smirk from your face.
- Rush hour will always see a ridiculously packed out train, and depending on the train and line you catch, the next one won’t be along for another few minutes. When people just want to go home, they will pack themselves into every available space on the train, pushing way up against everyone else while praying that the door will not close on their head. With the jolts of the train starting and stopping, it’s almost imperative that you find something to grab onto, so you don’t create a domino effect with the other passengers. This one little lady was too far away from a side pole, and was too short to reach the ones above our heads. So she grabbed onto the only thing she could – me.
I had to travel from Stratford to Canary Wharf with a little lady practically bear hugging me.
Her hair smelt.
- This next one doesn’t need anything written about it, it’s just so perfect, and was featured in today’s Metro Rush Hour Crush…
- For some reason, this next one doesn’t happen to very many people: underground bands. I used to have to work late shifts, and having to come home on the Central Line meant that I have had to face having an accordion-trumpet-tambourine band on my train, on more than one occasion. Sometimes the trumpet player wants to start dancing with the people standing next to the doors, i.e me.
Most people that hear about this story of mine are surprised and amazed, and they always say: “wow, that’s pretty cool.” And it isn’t. At first it is, kind of, because it’s new, but that novelty quickly wears off when you realise that you can no longer hear a face-melting guitar solo because there’s a trumpet being played in your ear.
I HAVE NO CHANGE AND I DO NOT WANT TO DANCE WITH YOU, PLEASE LEAVE ME ALONE!
As much as I hate commuting, it definitely allows you to see the characteristics of many people. Londoner’s seem to have the same poker face for their duration of their time on the tube, and as long as they have a copy of the Metro, then everything’s fine and calm, and everything else can be ignored completely.
Unless you have a trumpet in your face.
Or a guy in your lap.