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Dreadful Nonsense

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

Having been here for just over two weeks, and having worked for just over one of them, I am now beginning to understand why every open-spot hack on the London circuit starts off by telling jokes about the Tube. It's something that, if you have to travel by tube at any point during your day, starts to fascinate and freak you out in equal measure, particularly in this weather.

I like the hustle and bustle of it. I like people pushing past you on escalators because their need to get to work a millisecond ahead of you is so great. I like the tactical standing at certain points in the platform to either ensure that (a) you get a seat on the tube or (b) you get off nearest to the exit at your chosen station. I like that everyone very deliberately looks anywhere but at someone else, which means idiots like me who don't observe those rules can happily stare at all the freaks in the world to my heart's content. I like that all the girls in London seem to be wearing Berkinstock sandals this week. I like that you can see people's tattoos. I like that people stand on the platforms and take off layers of clothing before boarding the train at the moment. I like that some ladies have taken to carrying fans with them.

I don't like that the trains get stuck in tunnels and you nearly die even though you've brought water on with you. I don't like that sometimes it gets so hot it feels like you're in a sauna and your brain starts telling you that there's no escape. I don't like that - accidentally or on purpose, depending on the man - your boobs get touched up at least three times on your way to work. I don't like how dirty everything - your face, your hands, your lungs - feel when emerging from under the ground. I don't like that the central line keeps collapsing these last couple of days and I'm left wondering how the hell I get from A to B without a tube.

But over all the likes outweigh the dislikes and I'm starting to listen to Xfm in the morning not just for Christian and Chris but also for the travel updates. Next week, Lord alone knows where I'll be working, but hopefully it'll be a happy commute where I can read newspapers over people's shoulders and give tourists filthy looks for daring to be on a tube in rush hour and pause for a milisecond to check they're heading in the right direction. Long may this continue to be an enjoyable novelty, that's what I say.


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