She reached out grabbed it tighly. It was warm and slightly sweaty. She was nervous and unsteady. Things began to speed up, it began to shake and she felt a warm liquid spray onto her hand as the dirty bastard on the train next to her sneezed all over her hand. Germs much? Blergh. The tube is a huge germ fest.
Being a proper London child now I get the tube quite a lot. I am PRO – walking down the escalator, taking a wheely suitcase and I have also developed tunnel vision which means that I will get to wherever I want to go even, if that means ploughing down grannies and running over small children. As I am bobbing in and out of the tube station I see the same sorts of people every time which leads me nicely to my 6 types of people who are regularly on public transport in London.
#1 The business man
In London, between 4 – 7, unless you are wearing a suit / office wear, avoid the tube. They also wear trainers – suits, a flasher mac and trainers – this upsets me. Anyway, the suits take over and are ridiculously efficient, you just get in the way. There is a particularly tense moment when someone is faffing about with their Oyster or ticket and breaks the flow of human traffic causing a mass pile up that puts a traffic collision to shame. If you are longer than 2 seconds you can feel judging eyes burning through the back of your skull and this is then reinforced when they shove past you, whacking you in the back of the knee with their wheely laptop case causing you to nearly face plant on to the escalator. Bastards.
#2 The megaphone (s)
Once you have finally got onto the train, you think, ‘great, time to regulate my pulse and calm down as I’m sweating like a nun in Ann Summers’ [as it is always tropical in the underground] but no, there is always a group of people who don’t respect the mutual train etiquette – silence. “BABE! I can’t believe he did that to you. FUCK HIM! FUCK HIM HE’S A DICK!” . SHH! The business men in their suits and sensible shoes are looking over their Evening Standard at you with worse death stares than those who can’t work the ticket machines.
If you are on an overground train or bus, this applies to a single person. The single person screeching into their phone about their entire life whilst everyone else is again, staring – there are a lot of starey people in London – and they just carry on and then they will say “I’m getting off the bus now, I’ve got to go”. WHAT?! Why when you are getting off, surely that is when you call someone? Who knows.
#3 The walking iPod
I like most types of music, but it just makes things awkward on public transport when you can hear songs like “to the window, to the wall, till the sweat drop down my balls, and all you bitches crawl” or “move bitch get out the way, get out the way bitch get out the way” or any of the lyrics to Azaelia Banks 212 and the 99 year old woman on the bus looks like she is going to vom or pass out at such blatant vileness [I quite enjoy all of those songs]. How are the people who listen to music that loud not completely deaf (pardon?) and are they not aware that I’m dancing and rapping along with them and that everyone else is glaring?
#4 The griminal
The one who stinks. The one who stinks always stands and uses the over head rail to waft the smell effectively throughout the entire carriage. And then as the train jiggles around on the track, they shake sending a fresh wave of B.O resurfaces and smacks you in the face. This is only amplified during winter, as layers do not muffle the smell and the tube is, as I said, ridiculously hot but then you can’t win in the summer either as it is even hotter. The tube really needs some sort of air con. I may write a letter…
#5 The tourist
Oh the tourists. By definition of my postcode I am no longer a tourist although I do act like it sometimes. When I first moved here I went shopping with my friends Khal and Rob, Khal is a born and bred North London child and kept shouting at me for walking so slowly, when actually I was sprinting behind him trying not to go in to cardiac arrest. I have now progressed and I am the one getting annoyed with the tourists. They do several things wrong:
a. they bring two huge cases each taking up ALL the space on the tube and preventing the doors closing because on bag is in the way.
b. they stand on the left of the escalator which is the walking side. This causes another mass pile up as the business men and women are frothing at the mouth ready to drop kick the tourists, and their cases, to the bottom of the escalator.
c. they walk ridiculously slowly and you can’t get round them as they are in a line. A long line of cameras and cases. The village equivalent would be trying to over take 2 tractors on a bendy country road.
#6 The germ
Especially now it is winter, cold and flu is now a resident on the tube. He has his own germy seat and everything. He has free roam of the handles and the floor and is running riot everywhere infecting everyone. If there is someone obviously sick with some sort of infection on the train he/she will get lots of space as everyone attempts to stay healthy. When they are coughing and sneezing, spreading their germs everywhere and on everyone, even more death stares are dished out again by the business people – so judging. Maybe I should be a business person…