Going Nowhere Fast

Unless You have been actively living under a rock or in a cave, it has been a pretty traumatic month weather wise this side of the world.  You cannot go on Facebook these days without a flooding status being on your feed.  Coming from Cork lads, i guess we are all used to this sort of thing as the city has been flooding all our lives.  This weather truly has been taking the piss, the extreme winds, turbo rain and frosty mornings, will have you believing your living inside the polar vortex. Did you know with the sudden decrease in temperature that there is a 37 precent rise in male perky nipples? There are guys walking around looking like Madonna striking a Vogue. Just saying.  Besides, cutting electricity effecting peoples holidays and literally ruining peoples lively hoods up and down the UK & Ireland, the weather has also effected our transport in the very city that seems lest effected. London. Thats right people, the folk at home have to canoe to get to a ATM to withdraw there rent due to the down poor. While over hear we don’t have that, we have a little wind and the city shuts down in panic.  This last month has been the most traumatic time for the simple London commuter.  Giving that i travel a hour each way to work, relying on both tube and commuter trains. my stress level has been sky high at hours in the morning that should only be spent in bed.  Putting the weather situation to the side temporarily, lets talk about the disturbance of the month. Thats right, TFL decided to truly put a spanner in the works and screw the city over for a couple of days. The London Tube strike’s 2014.

Strike 1


Have you ever fancied watching the walking dead and thought ‘ i would love to see them enter a business area, and see all the business suited commuters all zombie and eating stray cats’ - well look no further then at any of the surround bus stops in the city of London during the Strikes. The lack of tubes running, left people panicked and wandering the streets. I don't think anyone was prepared for it, although there truly was nothing funnier then seeing the panic on peoples faces as they tried to barge there way to the front of the bus stops. ‘ I HAVE TO GET TO WORK!’ So does everyone else bitch get to the back of the line.  

Part of me feels, the effects of the strike was karma for how smoothly the tubes ran during the olympics. Does anyone remember the panic in the city when that was going down? ‘Mary, you think its bad now, wait until the olympics’ said Breda as she was shoved into the corner and forced to breath in a  old mans arm pit as he read his broad sheet newspaper, all the while, repeatedly banging his bag of Mary’s shins.  The entire city had pre-empted some sort of catastrophically rammed cattle mart while on the con tray it was pleasantly empty with many vacant seats to occupy yourself with.  All the ones that panicked stayed at home leaving the ones with out a choice like myself a good 3 weeks of blissful travel time. 

Coming home on the evening of the second day, i was able to get a reduced service tube to Finsbury Park thank the lord. Only now i had to get a bus from there to home. The bus stopped was joined with a queue of people encircling the entire street where the one bus stop was located.  After 20 minutes of lining up in the rain i was about ready to start walking ( even if it would take a hour) to get home.  When i random green bus turned up right in front of me and asked where i was trying to get too.  So i said  ‘HOGWARTS’. Ok no i didn’t but if you can remember the Knight bus, then this is as close as you could get to boarding it. The bus was form the 1930’s or 20’s and had wooden floors and lamps for lighting, the staircase was at the back and the bus driving had his own compartment. There was even a ticket inspector.  Inside everyone was looking around confusedly at the interior wondering had we all fallen pray to some very elaborately cleaver killer who was going to take us to some factory and force us to make weed. This bus only went to Manor house and then it was routing back to Finsbury park, that is one bloody stop people, a complete waste of time. Still it was very pretty. 

The KnightBus - I wish

Not stopping here


It’s amazing what you get used too. Weird smells, cheap champagne, scary people shouting at you in the streets. It just part and parcel of this glorious city isn’t it. As i commute from North to South East london, its safe to say from what you read so far my commute is a bit of a bitch. At the other side of the tube, i have to board a train usually from Victoria station to the wonders of Bromley.  Seems simply enough, well you would think so. Every sunday since i started making this commute the train company decides to randomly and with out much notice, cancel there service from Victoria on a sunday. In the old days this would leave me wetting my knickers as being late is something that is just not built into my blood. I blame my parents who always insured i was extra early for school, work and everything else in life. This leaves me feeling tense when i know being late is taking out of my hands. With london transport, that is exactly what happens, you can leave as early as you want but you only arrive at your destination when they say so.  On sundays i would wake in a panic, check my phone and then try and figure out a elaborate route to work, it was like the crystal maze every sunday morning devising a route, but there was no jumping around a big crystal catching money at the end, no just a full day of work. Afterwards i would have to make the same make shift long way round journey back home.  

On the plus side, i have seen areas of london i would never normally see. The downside i have seen areas of london that no one wants to  see.   Im convinced that there is a percentage of the Londoner population that purposely get the tube at 6:30 in the morning, as they are well aware how truly strange they look and come across. Don’t get me wrong people, i strive for individuality and believe its something to promote and compliment in people. However, a old man wearing a plastic bag over his top and chewing on his extra long hair while humming the theme tune to Eastender’s while staring down a poor chap that sat down next too him, at this time in the morning, is as frightening as any nightmare.


Im guessing South Eastern rail got wind how nonchalant i was getting regarding there Sunday specials as i had come to know them they decided to feck me over once again with a new one.  Last saturday they decided to not only cancel the trains from Victoria (the fastest way to get to work) but to cancel every train from every station going towards south east London.  Massive tit faces. This basically meant that there was no near by, no neighbouring town, no train going through all of south east London. Not even the DLR the fucker was even cancelled. They said it was too insure there the lines were safe. Bastards.  What did that mean for me? 3 buses from one side of London to the other, 2 and a half hours.  On my second journey i had to sit beside a lady who smelled of bleach and  who was talking loudly in broken english on the phone to her friend about how she was swindling two men out of money for rent. I cant be sure, but i think she was a hooker. Also a hooker with space invader tendencies, she kept touching legs with me and arms, which turned me into a shrinking violet turn to the window trying to keep my figure as far from her as possible. 


The second bus finally ended in Lewisham.  Big up lewisham, not a area i know very well or for that matter had ever been and unless i have to get a bus, i don’t think i will be back.  Nothing against it, but i didn’t get the best impression.  The wind was ripping through me at the bus station while i waited for my third and final leg of the journey. There was a toothless old man, sitting at the station striking up conversation with anyone who would get anywhere near him. While at the other side of the bus station two men were going through a over flowing bin. Now each to there own and all that, i’ve seen that channel four documentary regarding people that make millions from going through bins, but eating KFC out of it isn’t going to make you money, only give you worms.  Never mind, onto my last bus journey to work.

All-sorts


On people at bus stops, they truly can be frightfully weird. The sunday before last, i was getting a bus by wood green station around 7 in the evening. This bus stop is usually pretty busy.  I was standing there trying to keep myself as warm as possible when i noticed a middle aged woman sitting down at the bus station trying to get my attention. She kept winking and waving at me.  Now i have had enough experience with weirdos at bus stations that i know now not to engage with them. So i left it be. When i turned again, she was holding a pair of knickers in her hand.  using it to wipe her nose.  At this point a small asian guy took the seat next too her and she put her arm around his shoulders.  His face was pretty funny.

Besides delays and cancellations, my travels over the last month have had some odd experiences here are a couple of them. 

Im a People Person


Recently there has been a increase in people trying to engage in conversation with me on my travels, this lady at the bus stop was not isolated. I must make a effort to look un approachable in future to try and avoid these awkward encounters.  A random fellow at 9 at night took out my head phone out of my left ear to ask me if i liked reading on my kindle or would i recommend him to get a iPad? Yes i enjoy reading on my kindle, i enjoy it more when i don’t get a complete stranger interrupting me and breaking all social protocols.

Is that Egg?


I have always made it aware that i detest when people eat full meals on public transport, the smell drives me mad especially when it is the morning. Why are you eating steak sir? Its 8 in the morning? The other morning, i was busy reading away as i usually am waiting for the train to depart when i got this over whelming smell of eggs. Great someone has McDonalds, is what came to mind. When i turned i whiteness a man, eating eggs like they were peanuts. Stuffing one into his mouth after the other all coming from a clear container bag. There were at lest 20 boiled eggs stuffed into this bag. Seriously, is this the time to eat those bad boys? Right now in front of all of us? What made it worse was that the fact he had a cough, and kept spluttering bits of egg onto his laps. 

Secret Farter


On a tube, you come to expect it to get stuck once in awhile in a tunnel. Recently on a journey home, i got stuck between two stations during rush hour. As it is rush hour the train is extremely busy and there is no personal space to speak off. What made it worse was the fact there was a secret farter on the train, sneaking out silent but deadly numbers while everyone on the carriage tried desperately not to breath it in through there mouth to prevent tasting the horrible smell. Come on people at lest wait til the train is in movement, sot he wind through the one window at either end can try and stifle some of that shitty air.  Whats bad about this is i always start to laugh a little when i smell a fart, which makes me look like the guilty party. 


Vomit Comet



On Board the Victoria line, the day a monday morning. The time, 8:02. as it was busy i was standing down at the last carriage by the driver compartment. There was a person at either side of me, all 3 of us were busying ourselves with our books. This is when i noticed this fellow. He was sitting on the last seat with his head against the wall. He looked fecking rough. Straight away i clocked it. This bitch was on the piss last night and was feeling crappy. One thing you develop a sixth sense for as professional binge drinker are signs that someone is going to bring it all up. This guy was looking shifty left and right and had a big newspaper in his hand. He started to wrap up the paper into a bowl like shape. It was then that i knew he was trying to use this if he needed to vomit. Bare in mind i was standing near this guy and would be in the  splash danger zone.  He started to puke, i jumped and slammed into the guy standing next to me, who apartmently though i was simply deciding to jump on him. After he saw what was going on next to me, he understood. There was vomit everywhere and the smell was pretty bad, the poor guy destroyed his little business suit. More embarrassingly he had gotten the guy across the way from him, destroying his suede shoes with chunks of last nights beers.  Funnily enough, i saw this guy again recently on the tube. I don't think i will ever forget him. Come on man, swallow it down until you get to Station and then leave it all out like a normal person  in front of everyone in the smoking area. Ahem, no thats not what i done before. keep moving people, nothing to read between the lines here. 

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