I’m forever grateful to live in a city where the transport system is relatively good. I have Transport to London to thank for my lack of driving license, and also for the fact that BSM have received a substantial amount of money from me from 2 years of on- off, on-off driving lessons. The fact that I can get a night bus practically anywhere has lulled me into a false sense of security, and into an open relationship with my provisional license. Some months we see each other every week, some months I don’t see him at all.
Nevertheless, the price of public transport in London has reached astronomical proportions. I practically have to sell a kidney every time I want to go to Topshop on Oxford Street, and as such, I feel that I, and every other person who pays to use said transport, have the right to be subjected to a certain level of behaviour on buses, tubes, trains and DLR’s. As such, please do not violate these 5 things.
1) Clip your toe nails.
I wish I could say that this blog was fictional, or semi fictional. I wish I could enter this post for a short story competition. Unfortunately, I have had the immense pleasure of a full 10 minute nail clipping live show on the 53 bus. I’m not sure why this shameless member of the species they call human decided that this was appropriate, ingenious or entertaining, but maybe his thinking was on a higher plane than mine could ever reach. All I know is that for a full 10 minutes between Camberwell and some other depth of South East London, I sat in horror as fragment after fragment of off white toe nail decorated the seat opposite me. Gentleman that he was, he had the decorum to collect his clippings in a tidy pile. I can’t really remember what he did with them after that, I think I suffered from some sort of post-traumatic amnesia. Don’t do this. It’s never ok. And if you are going do this, at least have the common courtesy to moisturise your feet with some sort of emollient before revealing them to unsuspecting members of the public.
2) Play your music on loudspeaker.
If I wanted to listen to Drake’s latest album, I would find myself on Spotify. Clearly, I’m not on Spotify am I? There isn’t a chap with a Scottish accent asking me if I want Spotify Premium for the amazing price of 12.99, is there? No, there isn’t. Because we’re on a red double decker heading towards Canada Water. So I’m glad that this individual you call Drake started from the bottom and now he’s on top or whatever. But I don’t want to hear it. You don’t look cool, you look like the kind of person I want to politely ask to turn off their music. But seeing as we’re in South East London and you might be concealing a weapon, I will just sit in my grotty bus seat and fume, and then go home and write a sarcastic blog post instead.
3) Stand on the left on the escalator.
Haven’t you seen the posters? Stand on the right. Stand on the right. You don’t need GCSE Geography to figure that out, you don’t even need to be able to read the posters. Just do what they told you on those road safety adverts when you were a kid – stop, look, and listen. Stop. I don’t know the appropriate tube protocol, so I’m going to stop and gather my senses. Look. What is everyone else doing? Oh yes, the people who are walking are walking on the left, the people who are standing are standing on the right. Listen. There is an angry Londoner behind me saying in a polite, but terse voice, “Can you stand to the right please?”.There you go, the rules are there so we can all get along.
4) Allow your child to clamber over people.
I love children as much as the next broody 23 year old, and I’ve done my paediatrics block and it was a hoot. I completely sympathise with the fact that they are hard work, and until I have my own I will never fully understand the trials and tribulations of motherhood. Having said that, if I wanted to have children crawling over my lap, kicking my ankles, or smearing ketchup on my jacket, I would have got a summer job at a nursery. There, I would have been paid just above minimum wage to receive such treatment and gladly sat there as my overdraft dwindled and my stocks and shares in Vanish Oxy-Stain grew. I’m not asking you to leash or muffle your darling offspring, but at least let them crawl over me with clean hands. Cheers.
5) Give an loud audiobook rendition of your autobiography on a crowded train.
Clive broke up with you did he? But you always knew he wasn’t the one, right? And now everyone on the Hayes train from Catford to Charing Cross knows Clive wasn’t the one, and that the mole on his left ear grossed you out, and that your Mum had a funny feeling about him the moment he told her he didn’t like shepherd’s pie, because who doesn’t like shepherd’s pie? Thank you for this epic tale, you might be a budding J K Rowling in our midst. I personally, would prefer to discover that when you publish the book. I have no problem with you chatting quietly on the train. I do it all the time. I talk loudly on empty trains. But if you are going to tell your best friend the inner workings of your love life, can you just pipe down a bit? If not for our comfort, for your own personal pride.
What are your pet public transport peeves guys? Am I just a miserable Londoner?