Trainspotting: Commuting with London’s finest
Since arriving in London, my greatest source of entertainment has fallen among the seats, aisles, hustle and bustle of the local public transport system.
Not only do the trains, buses and ferries transport London’s swankiest and most affluent business-people, but they also carry every artsy student, senior citizen and down-and-out ruffian around. No gender, age, nor race takes precedence – it’s a beautifully diverse mix of people – all pulsing through the same exciting city.
With this many people on every commute – I was bound to witness a weirdo or two and overhear a few conversations. I thought I’d share my highlights with you:
1. Indian Daniel Radcliffe
If Bollywood ever wanted to make a wizarding film series, I know just the boy wizard for the job. He was a spitting image of D-Rad, dressed very smartly, with a bluetooth headset. I later discovered that his headset was actually just blaring 90s RnB into his ear, encouraging him to sing. Out loud. With feeling.
2. Sushi lady
I don’t think that eating on public transport is exactly disallowed, but it’s generally frowned upon. And I can see why, after witnessing the hilarity of Sushi lady, who squirted soy sauce all over her lap as the bus hurtled over numerous speed humps from Greenwich to Blackheath. Pretty funny, and particularly entertaining when she decided to have a go at the chopsticks too.
3. Pineapple express
Two girls were having a heated conversation about good-for-nothing boys. One was deeply concerned about her friend’s boyfriend situation. “Like, does he even know you like pineapple on your pizza?” Let me tell you something ladies – drop that homie immediately, if he doesn’t. The nerve.
4. Blindman Boris
I want to know why no one has told this old guy that he can zoom in on his ipad with his fingers? There were literal foggy breath marks on his screen. And at one point, his nose turned the page. (Actual sneaky photo of aforementioned old guy.)
5. The wheels on the bus go f*@ yourself!
Angry preggie lady VS no-nonsense builder. Who will throw the first punch, when no commuters will move further into the bus to make space? First vocal punch comes from preggie lady, who announces that she is seatless and, in fact, “PREGNANT! – I AM PREGNANT AND HAVE NO SEAT. MOOOVE DOWN.” No-nonsense builder is having none of this, and retorts (in the finest cockney accent I’ve heard so far) with a detailed explanation of why she should not have boarded the busy bus in the first place. “THERE ARE SAFETY REGULATIONS, LUV.” Many, loud unpleasantries are exchanged, a baby starts to cry, I sink into the shadows behind my packet of spring onions, and an old lady with a bad hip finally gives up her seat. Credits roll.
I have no doubt that there will most definitely be a second instalment of this post.
Pip! Pip! (I’m British now, you see.)