I can honestly say that the novelty has worn off. I don't doubt for a minute that it's still the best way to get around London, but the daily commute has forced a few observations about humans-some funny, some perplexing-that I'd never noticed before on my weekend journeys on the Tube. To wit:
- Why, oh why, do men have to sit on the Tube with their legs spread sooooooo wide? Truly gents, is this your sad way of trying to say to the world: "Look at how much junk I have between my legs, world! The only way I can possibly sit here comfortably without crushing my man-bits, is by spreading my legs obnoxiously wide to give it the space that is needed!!"
- Tourists: Dear tourists, for the love of god: Stay off the Tube during rush-hour. The museums don't even open until 10am, but yet you insist on clogging the tube when there are hundreds of thousands of us trying to get to work. Nevermind the fact that the Tube can't even cope with the strain of Londoners using it during their commute already, now you have to overload it even further-with your prams, backpacks, and maps spread wide. Don't even get me started on stopping in the middle of the stairs, elevator, or platform-for NO APPARENT REASON-while the rest of us have to stagger around you so we don't run over you.
- The urgency of your need to get from point A to point B via the Tube is directly proprtionate to the likelihood that the Tube will be slow, delayed, or simply suspended due to signal failure, an ill person on the train, or even a body under the train. Go figure.
- One must acquire Tube Face as early into their journey as possible. Tube Face is the way making the world think that you are lost in thought, in your own world, or simply not paying attention-largely so you can appear to be ignoring the crazy person next to you-or made to not feel like you should give up your seat to someone who needs it. But the reality is: you're still paying attention to every little thing going on around you. Hopefully, no one notices you blinking, or your ruse is up.
- Just like death and taxes being inevitible, it is also inevitible that you will end up sitting next to the smelliest person on the Tube when you have your choice of seats. Just the other day, I took a seat inbetween two men-one of which smelled of dead cow due to the leather jacket he was wearing. The other, smelled of ash tray and booze. Lovely.
- If just one more person tries to barge on the Tube while there are still those of us trying to get off, I may have to commit to a random act of violence. Wait. Until. Everyone's. Off. Thank you.