When suffering from a bout of writers block between Christmas and new year the boy suggested that I write a post on trains. It was after he had just missed a train that had left the station two minutes before it was due to, and he was about as irate as he gets. At the time I laughed it off, unable to envisage getting to the platform late enough that I would miss the train if it was a mere two minutes early. Now, however, I feel his pain.
I have been commuting for little over a week, and have already amassed over 12 hours travelling by public transport. Be it trains, undergrounds or buses, I have become one of those people. A clock watcher.
I now live my life by the minute, and the second. I find myself tutting at people aimlessly wandering around Waterloo station in rush hours texting on their phones as I am dashing to the right platform, and have been known to audibly tut when someone just stops in front of me. You see, these people are determining the health of my social life. By stopping in the “fast lane” on the escalator they are endangering my dinner plans, by not having the right ticket at the barrier they are potentially ruining my evening. Those seconds mean everything when your next train isn’t for a half hour, and that five seconds extra that they dawdle in front of you in the ticket hall could be the seconds between me catching the bus or being smirked at by the bus driver as I run, arms flailing to catch his horrible gun bus, and he pulls off anyway.
Other than this I don’t mind the trains. The buses however are another matter and I would sell a vital organ to not have to get on one each night. The seats are so grubby that you can visualise all the dead skin and horrible things from all the people have sat there before, and after last nights journey when I watched the bus driver and his friend, who seemed to be enjoying going round and round circles of the town, leering at all the women get off the bus, I dread the walk of shame to exit.
When I get home I immediately get undressed and hop in the shower in the hope of scrubbing my skin back to its porcelain cleanliness. It doesn’t work. In still a bit grey and have an air of grub around me.
So next time you grab your phone out of your pocket and try to text on the move when in a busy station, think of me tripping over behind you!