An Introverted Actress

10 Things You learn On The London Underground

I passed my driving test almost a decade ago. First time, one minor. Since that day, I have never got behind a steering wheel. Driving sent my stress levels through the roof and whilst, sure, one day I may decide a car would be make for a more efficient way of living,  right now I have no need for one. I work in the heart of London where, even if I owned a vehicle, I wouldn't want to drive anyway and I get too much work done on trains to willingly sacrifice that time being confined to heavy machinery that I would have to operate myself! 
            No. Since I was seventeen, I've been using TFL. Transport For London. Red buses, black cabs and tube trains galore. I live in Greater London so my journey to London's West End is still a decent hour and a bit either way and whilst I'm grateful to be close to the centre of London, there is a lot to be learnt when navigating the London Underground... 




1. Everyone Is Nosey
Whether you're reading, writing, watching a video or listening to a song, everyone within a five foot radius will have peered over your shoulder within the first ten seconds of you boarding the train. If they're drunk enough, they'll ask you about it. I once had a drunken gentleman read a few lines of my novel-in-progress to the carriage before I could snap my laptop shut! 

2. The Seats On The Bakerloo Line Are Joined
The fabric stretches over two seats. This means that when someone plonks themselves down next to you, the air from their side of fabric will instantly be propelled under your bottom and you will be catapulted into the air a couple of inches. Maybe more depending on how violently they sit down. You get used to it and learn brace yourself but it may cause whiplash if you don't remember!

3. The First Train Of The Morning Is Filled With Construction Workers And Hungover Party Goers Eating Egg McMuffins. 
I know this because on occasion I fit into one of these categories and we all know I'm not a builder. 

4. The Ends Of Every Tube Train Are The Quietest...

5... And This Is Where People Go To Cry Or Have Awkward Phone Conversations!
I, myself, have shuffled to the front/back of the train when having a private phone call or when I've had a very trying day and need a little cry!

6. When A Dog Gets On, Everyone Unites. 
Seriously. It's like magic. A doggo arrives and everyone becomes best friends. I once got onto a train and six Sheba Inu's were sat there, being enveloped by smiling commuters. Best. Day. Ever. 

7. If You Give Up Your Seat For Someone In Need, You Will Be Granted The Power Of Smugness...

8...But If You Do Not, You'll Feel Like A Self-Absorbed Arsehole All Day

9. City Mapper Will Change Your Life. 
I'm not sponsored by this app nor do I think they know of my existence. I'm just very passionate about knowing when my bus/train is going to arrive. I used to spend AGES waiting at my bus stop either not knowing when the bus would come or spending 30p a text constantly messaging the number written above the rarely accurate timetable to get a precise time. Now I just sit in the comfort of my home until City Mapper tells me the bus is three minutes away! Dream!

10. If Your Ride The Tube For Long Enough, Eventually You Will Feel Comfortable Crying/Falling Asleep/Generally Treating It Almost Like Home

Seriously, I can't even tell you how many miles and how many hours I must have spent on the London tube. I've had sing alongs, conversations and confrontations. I've fallen asleep and been woken up at the end of the line. I've sobbed and been handed tissues by a fellow commuter and I've consoled others whom I've found in tears. I've probably given more wrong directions than right ones and received more wrong directions than right ones, too but all in all...long live TFL!















9 comments

  1. Spot on!!! Although I usually gravitate to the front of the train as it's closer to my station's exit!

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  2. As a native Philadelphian, my love/hate relationship with SEPTA (our public transportation system) makes me love this post!

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  3. Having lived in London for two years and moved back home to Canada I would love to make a top 10 list like this haha I appreciate your list though and can nod my head at it :D

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  4. working in London, three days a week, I must say it's ok. Living in hostel, as it's cheaper than commuting to Suffolk. GGuess, after living here for such a long time, you know which places to avoid for crowds, however gotta love London x

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  5. As someone who lived in London for 9 years (Harrow for 5 of them), but moved away in 2011, this made me all nostalgic!

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  6. Absolute Londoner, but I’m in New York for four months and this made me homesick in a really good way for the familiarity. I’ve cried, fallen asleep, and so much more on the tube as well and the subway here is not the same.

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  7. Hi Carrie! :) This was a great read!! Maybe you should publish a series of short stories about (fictitious?) train encounters one day? :D Also on another note, I'm subscribed to your email-blog-newsletter and whilst it is already handy, adding a small preview of the new blogpost or the title would be nice. :) HAVE AN AMAZING DAY! Best wishes from a long-time subscriber and fan. <3

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  8. Hi Carrie, having retired, I can say that I do not miss travelling in London.

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