“What’s this?” you are probably asking yourself. “Laura’s writing a blog focused on positivity and yet she’s chatting about one of the most soul-destroying aspects of London life?”
Yes, yes I am.
Because, quite frankly, it’s difficult not to see the funny side of a trip on the London Underground between the hours of 7am and 9am.
Firstly, it gets so very busy. We must be the only nation who queues to get on to a platform, or at least does so contentedly.
The other morning, hundreds of us even queued to get through the barriers of Stockwell station whilst nervous TFL staff instigated “crowd control” (apparently the area between platforms 1 and 2 was the place to be that morning).
They even played classical music in an attempt to keep us from going crazy and, weirdly, it kind of worked. Whilst my other half was stressing about how late he might be I was lulled by the sweet notes of Mozart.
Meanwhile, a group of bemused French tourists at the front of the growing crowd looked around wondering if the apocalypse had happened and they were surrounded by British zombies who still wouldn’t give up their commitment to the queue.
The apocalyptic atmosphere would continue for these poor tourists as soon as they reached a platform and stepped on to a train. No one talks to each other and if some bright and bubbly soul does try to strike up a conversation then you pretend that you are listening to really loud music and can’t hear them (I have done this before and realised all too late that I didn’t have any headphones on…).
I would say that I would love to start some kind of revolution to get people talking on my commute into work but, alas, trying to converse with me before I’ve eaten my breakfast at the office tends to end badly.
There are a number of other hilarious situations which take place on a morning commute underground. People running for a departing train and getting stuck in the doors, announcers who tell jokes to cheer you up (although the announcers that yell at you angrily or sarcastically are equally funny) and children telling their parents how they have a tough day ahead of them and all the people around them glaring at their little heads (“you know nothing, child”).
My point is, if you are not within walking distance of you place of work (or if, like me, you are within walking distance but more often than not can’t be bothered to be that active before breakfast) then try not to get caught up in the stress of the train journey. Whether you are crammed into a carriage like a pack of sardines or if you’ve been subjected to station “crowd control” try to see the funny side of it. Failing that, stick your head into a copy of Time Out and go to your happy place.