Wednesday, 10 July 2013

On the London Underground - A What Not To Do!

Yet another morning on the tube, and I find myself faced with people's utter disregard for other journeyers. Why pray tell do some of us feel the need to litter seats with rubbish, take up excess amounts of space or generally take the time to piss people off. Maybe I feel too strongly about this, but it takes a second to not do half the little things. Some of this applies to buses, but all of it is common sense. Here's my little list of things that people do, and how to not do them!

The two big ones:

Sitting on the tube:
So often on the tube do people take up more than one seat. I'm not complaining about people on the heavy side, while I have my views on being overweight this isn't the issue. I'm talking about people of average weight, who manage to take up one to two seats on the tube. It's not as if the seats aren't well defined, there's a horribly uncomfortable red division between every place.
And yet, people put their bags in a seat and refuse to move it until either every other seat on the tube is taken, or you go up and ask. People (usually men) sometimes sit with their legs so far apart that they encroach onto the next seat. Many a time have I found a leg pressed into mine regardless of how far I shift away. I understand that it may be uncomfortable to keep your legs together guys, but its uncomfortable to have your legs on mine...

Where to put rubbish?
I know that there are no bins in the stations, or on the tube. There are however bins on every street, and in buildings across London. Leaving that scrunched up plastic bag with the remnants of lunch, that greasy, smelly paper fast food wrapper, the unloved newspaper or whatever other delights you may have is inconvenient, and unpleasant. Especially when you left on a seat for an unsuspecting pair of bloggers on their way into town. Litterers, you are much more likely to find a bin, than the rubbish is likely to magically transport itself to the land of litter!


The little ones:

When to move seats?
Seats on the tube at rush hour are a precious commodity. Nobody wants to be part of the sweaty standing mess on the London underground.  So once you notice someone that deserves to sit down more than you, it makes sense to get up right? Oh no, many a time I have seen people stare into their laps, at their phones etc. All in an effort to not make eye contact, no eye contact? No reason to move! As a sufferer of chronic back pain when standing for extended periods of time, I rarely want to move. That doesn't stop me from getting up when I can though... Unless you intend to be on the tube for more than half an hour, let's move for those who need to sit more than us?
During the off peak hours of the tube, I've noticed that there is a strong aversion to sitting next to someone when there's an option to sit with a nice empty seat on either side. I do it myself. Nobody really wants to sit next to a stranger. However, every once in a while a couple of people, friends, parent and child, or an actual couple board, and start looking for seats. They look around hopefully and then resign themselves to a silent journey across from each other, or a few seats apart. There's no need to go out of one's way to do this, but when it involves shifting over by one seat, or across the isle, would it be so hard to do so? Or at least to offer? Its little to no effort on our parts, but might make a few people happy, and where's the harm in that?

Boarding etiquette:
This is a tiny thing, there are signs, and announcements about this very topic. Wait for people to get off, and then get on. Easy enough, but there's always people so impatient that they absolutely have to get on before everyone else can get off and free up the space. The tube won't leave that quickly, just wait a minute!

Lost in the station?
This is applicable to any crowded location in the world, but I notice it most on the tube. I'm rushing to class, my train is at the platform and I have mere seconds to get on and... someone stops. Right in front of me,  or maybe they slow down and dither about. Just long enough to make me miss my train, or maybe I'll get lucky? I'll barrel through the doors just as they're closing. While it's probably not the end of the world, its damn frustrating.

That's it for now. At 10:40pm I'd rather be watching Dexter instead of thinking about the tube!


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