Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Have you fallen prey to the London commuter stereotype?

Diverse, exciting and vibrant are some words that can be used to describe London. But brash, unfriendly and reserved are others to describe its residents.

And Que PASO!? It has happened.

I catch myself fuming at the fact the tube is late and huffing and puffing as if Transport for London have tried to delay the Jubilee Line to exasperate me exclusively. Or ranting out loud to myself in the car because there is so much traffic (The worst offenders to raise the heart rate are people who follow emergency vehicles to get ahead)

What do I expect? I live in the centre of one of the biggest cities in the world and it is rush hour. But there is never time for logic when I am attempting to pay the congestion charge, not knock over any cyclists and not get lost concurrently.

Officially. I have turned into one of those typical stressed London commuters. I have fallen prey to this metropolis city.

I, technically, would say I am a northerner and in the north you say you are going to London and there’s always someone to remind you how vicious and unfriendly people are here.

‘No-one ever speaks on the tube’. What on earth do you want strangers to say to one another? Remember, it is underground so we can't really talk about the weather.

When I get on the tube at 7am, I quite like the collective feeling of melancholy. People avoiding eye contact, suits me. A Brazilian guy recently asked me why us conservative Englishmen actually go to great lengths to avoid eye contact on public transport.

‘We use it as a way to meet girls’ he said. Gee Whizz - I can worry about my appearance at a bar and not on the tube if it were to be considered a dating ground.

Because I have been known to get lost in other countries, I do try and help people out on the London transport system. Occasionally, I even stop when people are holding a map looking puzzled and sometimes use some linguistic skills to help out - minor saint!?. Oh and I help out mums with prams because.... I feel I should.

But that is about as far as it goes.

I don't think I sit there with a Cheshire smile on my face because it is 8am and I have just come out of my nightly coma - which took 34 alarms and a phone call from my mum to get me out of. I am also probably late. And yes that is obviously Transport for London's fault.