Observations of a train commuter

1 year ago

Forget The Girl on the Train, I have witnessed so many incidents I could write a series of books.

  • The Strategists – they have worked out exactly where to stand to get the best seating opportunities
  • You see the same people every day, more than your loved ones yet you don’t make eye contact or small talk
  • Sometimes train relationships develop, more so when you join forces over how terrible the service is or how you will ensure that neither of you falls asleep and misses their stop
  • I have many a ‘train friend’ and we often meet up with other train associates that take over a carriage on a Friday evening – we never see one another outside of the train
  • You get to hear really juicy gossip whilst people are on their phones
  • The men that feel the need to open their legs too wide – it’s never THAT necessary!
  • When you save a seat and have to tell at least 15 people that your friend is on her way – then have a full blown row about how you can’t save seats
  • The age old dilemma of giving up your seat for someone who looks pregnant but you don’t want to offend
  • That chivalry on trains doesn’t exist – it’s a dog eat dog world out there
  • When you run for the train (perspiring heavily) just in time for the doors to shut and make out its not really a big deal
  • That some people should be more attentive to mouth hygiene, how can it be that bad first thing in the morning?!
  • You get to see how people look and sound in their sleep, unfortunately
  • Putting on a very drunken ladies shoes, picking up her bag, carrying her off the train and putting her in a taxi
  • The joy of falling asleep on one of the last trains home, to awaken two hours later having done a shuttle run and have no trains to get home
  • Overseeing a man who must have been late 60’s text someone who clearly wasn’t his wife a naughty message whilst sitting next to me, it wasn’t pleasant
  • Seeing a lot of confidential company data on laptops
  • Understanding how many annoying habits there are, including eating an apple – which results in apple ‘juice’ hitting a fellow unknown commuter
  • That loud music can cause full blown fights
  • Seen a man so drunk he fell asleep standing up, fell over, and landed on a poor sober commuter
  • Having a whole carriage sing Oasis’ Wonder Wall
  • When a train gets cancelled due to ‘leaves on the line’ or a ‘horse on the line’ and seeing 5% of the train having a breakdown
  • Trying to convince your husband to take home a drunk commuter that you insist is a friend (based on the 50 minute train journey)

The worst train incident I have ever experienced has to be…I was sitting in a four seater with a table in front of us, I was next to one of my many ‘train friends’. The chap in front of me sneezed so hard and despite covering his hand the snot phlegm landed on my hand. This is hard for me to remember. I almost puked, my train friend almost puked – and to add more horror to this story, the chap next to this guy who just violated my hand felt it was his duty to come and rescue me by having the loudest argument ever at how disgusting it was, if the ground had opened I would have buried myself deep down.

So why am I still doing this after 11 years? Because London is the land of opportunity, so many doors can open here. You meet so many different personalities and you have many great locations to visit. Every day I walk over London Bridge (apart from when it’s wet and windy) and admire the view and think how lucky I am to experience one of the World’s great cities. The experience beats working locally – when you see the same faces and hear the same stories 365 days a year.

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