Thursday, July 12, 2007

I was sat on the Tube

The London subway system, or Tube, is an amazing piece of work. I have been on it and been enchanted by all the places that you can zip around too. However, go on the Tube during rush hour and one can quickly learn to hate people. At least I can. Everyone shoves their way around, you're crammed in amongst people, it's hot.

I don't know if it's a new thing or if I just never experienced it when I visited London many a year ago, but on the platform for the Circle and District lines yesterday evening, there was actually some guy (who I couldn't see anywhere) whose job it was to announce the incoming trains and to provide instructions regarding where on the platform you should wait ("plenty of space down to the left of the platform folks"), how to board ("please use all the doors"), when the train was departing ("please step away from the doors as this train is about to depart"), and at one point, he chastised someone like a mother shouting at a child with a shrill "LET GO OF THAT DOOR!"

Small English children, though they can be the kin of the devil, seem very proper and grown up to me. In part it's the accents - they speak the way that only educated adults in Canada speak (and those ones are putitng it on). Then there's the school uniforms, so that you see 10-year-old kids in blazers and ties.

In Hampshire, where I was a few days ago, the people play with their tenses. Stacey told me "when I come to Varna" where I would have said "when I came to Varna", as it was in the past. Two gentleman on a bus discussed how they were not going to give up their seats for some elderly people because "there's kids sat", i.e. there's kids sitting. It's typical to hear "he's stood there" for someone who's currently standing. I even picked it up at one point and referred to a woman as being "sat" at the table.

It's a mystery to me how I can hold a marker pen for only a second, in just my right hand, and yet I managed to get marker ink all over both of my hands. Do marker molecules tunnel?


mischief said...

Back when I used to work in London in the dim and distant past I remember there was this guy who used to do announcements at London Bridge station on the Northern line.

I used to get the tube from London Bridge to Bank and every morning he would say something hilarious over the tannoy, or sing or recite poetry.

One day, it was fabulously hot in London and the platform was crowded. Everyone was stressed out.

When the tube arrived, people started pushing on and it was really uncomfortable and stressy, when suddenly, over the tannoy came the message,


That creased me up and the whole platform sort of came to it's senses, laughed and relaxed! It was great!

Me, Myself & I said...

To be honest you have London in a nutshell there!!

Not so keen on the place meself luv - as they say

Megan said...

"Creased me up" - that's a new one to me. Do they say that in London? Because they certainly say "luv". I got called that by older men in Scotland, but I get it from pretty much every man on the street in London.

mischief said...

Yup creasing up is a London thing I think. I haven't heard it for a while though. Mind you I haven't been in London for a while either...