23 July 2017

Things I've Learnt Commuting In London

Clasping on for dear life whilst you narrowly avoid slapping the person behind you with your bag, rugby mauls on the platform sprints between stations and enjoying the morning scenery of the concave of an unkempt armpit; Just another day of in the cutthroat world of the London commute. 

After up-heaving my entire life from the Hampshire countryside where morning scenery was rolling grass fields and paddocks full of horses to the bustling big smoke of London, my mornings now consist of sticky rush hour throngs and underground mice.

As a notoriously stubborn salmon, I don't tend to do things by halves which is why I threw myself into the deep end, striding into the daily commute with severe naivety. Boy did I grow up quick, with a great big shove in the back from a friendly fellow Londoner. 

From riding the crazy commute of working life, I've put together a little list of hurdles you soon learn- only after learning the hard way with an elbow wedged into your coccyx...

1. People have weird toes. Sweltering tubes in the summertime call for minimal clothing and open-toe sandals. It also calls for an abundance of toe types, shapes and oddities to stare at. It's like entering into Charlie's chocolate factory for a foot fetish obsessive. 

2. Some people do not participate in personal hygiene.

3. I deeply regret not embracing sport in my childhood; it would have prepped me well for the competitive race through the doors. It's a case of survival of the fittest and boy do I have a way to go.

4. I am exactly the same height as your average male's armpit.

5. To describe it as busy would be doing it an injustice.  It's like the nucleus of life that everyone wants a piece of.

6. Temperature control is non-existent. You sweat like a pig or freeze like an ice cube- no grey areas.

7. Standard class is exactly what it says on the tin. No fancy bluffs or metaphors, you do what it says - stand, stand and stand some bloody more.

8. Tube chat is not something to enter into during the morning. You may be a morning person but the rest of London isn't.

9. Queuing for the tube is a thing. The British art form still stands strong, even when in a rush.

10. You can always walk faster. Judging by the amount of elbow and back nudges you get, others think so too.

11. Always, always stand on the right. No, but seriously.

12. Pay cheques only come once a month so best be careful. Top expenses in order: Rent, Food, Alcohol.

13. Take your goddam multivitamins everyday. Two week long flu and a cheeky side of sinusitis will teach you the hard way.

14. No matter how much of a stereotypical polite person you are, you will get road rage on the sidewalks. Step aside you ambling tourists!

15. The dream of looking like a high-flying glamorous big body strutting the streets is exactly that. One unattainable dream. Embrace the hair-flying wind, embrace the silk soaking sweat and for the love of God replace those heels for a pair of nikes.

16. Have your travel card handy at all times. Deliberating like a kid at a candy counter will get you nothing but a torrent of abuse and death stares.

17. Thinking you'll beat the crowds and go that extra 15 minutes early means you'll be one of approximately 986 other people doing the same.

18. Everyone is battling their own demons - showing a little respect and kindness can mean the world to someone internally struggling.

19. You quickly learn the art of positioning yourself precisely where the carriage doors will open on the platform. Oh the glory of being at the front of the bullseye!

20. Starting a conversation by chatting about the weather or the price of London living and you're good to go for a lengthly chinwag.

21. Money will come. Then it will go just as fast. It will be like that kid you always heard rumours about back in school but never once saw in the flesh.

Love, Sarah

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[Image credits: Pinterest, that adventurer, rachellishman, vogue]


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