As a Londoner it has come to my attention that many of you beings from other parts of the world shall be visiting my city this summer, sometinkk called le Olympics or something. Anywho, I feel it my moral obligation to offer some guidance on how to survive in this most wondrous of places. Lesson One, the only necessary lesson, is how to survive on the Tube, the veins of London.
Here are some friendly dos and don’ts.
- Do not loiter. Dude, if you are going to get on the train, get on the damn train. Do not decide at the bottom of the escalator, do not congregate at the platform entrances, and when the driver says move down inside the carriage you are bloody well gon’ do that.
- Conversations are socially unheard of things on the tube. Do not engage in them. People do not want to hear your plans for the evening or where your hotel is at 100000 decibels.
- Don’t crack out an enormous map of London. As much as commuters want to have a large mass of expanded paper thrust into their faces on their way home, they may not take lightly to your navigation palaver.
- Do read compactly. If you want to pass the time on the tube, there are four reading options: Novel, Kindle, Adverts next to the Map, or the old favourite, reading the newspaper over your neighbour’s shoulder.
- Do not eat smelly food. Ventilation is about as good as a pig sty, so don’t bring smelly-arse food, even if it smells nice, because there will granted be an obscenely hungry person in the carriage ready to pounce.
- Don’t try and pick up the “hot piece of ass” opposite. Everybody loves the notion of a cute tube romance. Dude, not when you are in a large group and insist on blatantly talking about the said “hot piece” in another language.
- Don’t pole dance before hours. The poles in the middle of carriages are insanely tempting, especially when yo’ is having a good time. Hey, at 1am, it’s acceptable. But not during rush hour, or you shall create a sea of ashamed business types.
- Don’t feel offended if a local is rude to you. We are Londoners, we are rude. If a person in formal office attire looks at you like your just kicked their cat, forgive them. They have likely made the same mundane commute for 20 odd years and have developed a passive aggressive resistance to tourists.
- Do walk like you know where you are going. If you get of the train and have no idea which way you are going, just walk. Just keep going until you find a place to figure it out where you won’t be trampled by the stampede of travelers.
- Do not believe Service Announcements. Whatever London Underground staff try to tell you over the tannoy is most likely a lie. If you hear the term “A Good Service is operating on all London Underground Lines”, it doesn’t mean there’s a good service, “good” is relative, and for London “good” is trains largely being late and stopping to “regulate the service”.