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Dreadful Nonsense

"I've read your blog. it's really funny. you should write a column." - Jon Ronson

I’m not sure if it’s just me or a frame of mind drummed in to Irish children, and girls in particular, from an early age, but I fully expect at each and every moment that I’m present in London that every last person is going to be - at best - horribly rude to me, or - at worst - make an attempt on my life just for the loose change in my pockets or because they don’t like my accent. (For that last point, I can’t exactly blame them, having recently been mistaken for an American, a Canadian, an English and a South African by various Dubliners in recent months). The very last thing I expect in London is for people to be helpful.

So when I was stood in the train station trying to buy tickets for a journey whose destination names had been drilled in to me the night before by a drunkenly helpful He Who Only… [more details below], I wasn’t entirely surprised when the man with the large hair behind the bullet proof glass started yelling at me. Due to the security glass and the fact that he was agitatedly flapping his hands near the microphone, it took me a bemused moment to work out what the hell he was yelling at me.

Turns out that he was screaming at me that the train I wanted was now approaching, and that if I didn’t hurry up I’d have to wait half an hour. Of course, his yelling had put me off my game somewhat, so I stumbled my way through the gates and checked out the window to see which side of the tracks I should be heading towards.

Then another man started yelling at me. I turned around to try to decipher some words out of his torrent of what my brain had initially registered as abuse and it turned out he was also concerned about my time keeping. I turned around again and battled through the flow of people going the opposite way on the stairs, but all in vain. The train left without m4.

I think, as I sit here writing this on the platform with thirty minutes to go before the next train, I could probably have made the train if it hadn’t been for the people helpfully yelling at me. Even so, it gladdens my heart to find that people in London are ready, willing and able to abusively and aggressively hurl helpful suggestions at you from all directions.


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