Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Tales from the Tube

Ok. I know I said no more posts about London but I swear this one will be funny.

Now I’ve put too much pressure on myself.

It’ll be mildly amusing.

Having previously been scared senseless by the Tube, I thought that I was starting to get the hang of it in October, when I went down to see my friend.

However after this trip I feel I’m even better and think I should upgrade myself from Tube Champion to Tube Master. Admittedly it takes me slightly longer than most to figure out exactly where it is I’m going but the point is I can figure it out and I no longer want to cry at the prospect of doing so.

Whilst revelling in my newfound Tube status a couple of funny things happened:

Tube Incident Number 1: Late in the night we were making our way back to our destinations when the tube stopped at a station. There was a family of 3 on the platform – Mum, Dad and daughter. Dad and daughter go to get on the train but the Mum is furiously rummaging in her handbag for something, god only knows what, so Dad and daughter get back on the platform. Mum suddenly finds whatever it is she’s been digging around for so frantically and leaps on to the tube.

Just in time for the doors to close behind her, leaving dad and daughter on the platform.

There was absolute silence. You could hear the wind whistling through my wide open mouth.
Then we realised that the poor woman wasn’t English and her daughter and husband tried to communicate through the glass where it was she should go.

Then the unthinkable happened.

The tube driver opened the doors to let them on.

My mouth dropped a further few inches.

Our London hosts couldn’t believe it, saying they’d never seen a driver do that before.

Lesson learned: Tubes come along quickly, if you hear the beeping, do not choose that moment to try and get on the train. Also. Don’t lose things in your handbag.

Tube Incident Number 2: New Year’s Eve and we were going back home, laden down with booze, to begin the party. We get on at Embankment (by the way, people were already lining the bridges to watch the fireworks go off at midnight. This was 5pm. Are people mental?! It was freezing!!! You can watch them on BBC1!!) and the train is pretty crowded so we shuffle along and find ourselves uncomfortably close to one another.

It was about to get more uncomfortable.

“Sorry” I hear someone next to me say. I turn around, thinking someone’s trying to get past me or I’m stood on my foot or something.

Instead I see a man who is reaching forward towards me and then picks some lint off my jacket. Which also happens to be my chest.

Now I am not familiar with tube etiquette and wasn’t quite sure how to respond so I said...
“Thank you”

What else could I say?!

And then stared very hard at the floor so that I a) wouldn’t laugh and b) wouldn’t start screaming. For someone who’s not a big fan of touching other people, I like my personal space, this was pretty much the worst thing that could happen. Actually the worst thing that could have happened is if he’d hugged me and quite honestly I’m not sure that he wasn’t thinking about it.

We all stood in silence for the next few stops until Lint Man got off the tube at which point American Boy turns to me and says “Is that ok that he just did that?”

“NOOOOOOO!” Came my cry.

Everybody found the whole situation incredibly hilarious and we had soon concocted stories about him travelling the tubes, collecting lint off women and taking it home to fashion a woman made entirely of lint and fluff. My laughter was bordering on hysteria.

Lesson learned: Mental people ride on Tubes. Get nerves of steel next time you visit.

Now I swear and triple swear that this is the last of the London trip posts.

(PS. Remember me saying that I liked Parsons Green and it would be lovely to live there? Well clearly I can’t afford to, but it’s always worth keeping your eyes and ears open because you could end up in the same situation as the person the Americans were staying with. He shares the house with 4 other people and it turns out that his landlord hasn’t changed the rent in about 15 years for some unfathomable reason, so he is paying......wait for it....£380.

I’ll give you some time to pick up your jaw from the table.

Now I know it’s just a double room in a shared house but I think I could put up with it for that kind of rent!)


Hayles said...

We watched the fireworks curled up on the sofa with champagne and cheese - when they said about people queueing since the afternoon, I laughed. Silly people.
Also, wtf at lint man?!

lemonade kitty said...

Do you think you could get ME a room in that house please??? hehe love Lucey xx

The Curious Cat said...

Funny little stories...the tube is an interesting place. Sometimes it is hell on earth but it can be quite amusing at times. Good place to watch behaviour...someone should do a study. And that was very nice of the train driver to do that for the family...rare! And people queuing at 5pm to watch fireworks - ohmygod get a life people! (Though I'm still grumpy that I didn't get to see them from the luxury of my ex-boyf's pad at London Bridge). As for £380 rent that isn't too bad either...you can still find some gems...rare but true! xxx

Petit Filoux said...

Can’t believe that tube driver opened the door for the dad and daughter, they NEVER do that kind of thing!! Unbelievable! And loving the lint man story. Brilliant.

Oh. And about the rent. Can I say I feel very VERY jealous? It’s just not right!!!