Tuesday 18 October 2011
Am I Turning into Victor Meldrew?
"What in the name of sanity is happening to our transport system and the moral fabric of polite society?"
At the time of writing this it is 09:18 and I have been in the office for ten minutes. Nothing unusual in that but for the fact I am usually in the same place at 07:50.
Overhead power cable problems in the Bethnal Green area (a railway choke point if ever there was one) meant a full hour on my journey with the unexpected and added bonus of the world-renowned 'Stratford two platform shuffle' as we were unceremoniously dumped at the said station and had to rush between two platforms for any chance of train into London. The Tube (or subway to our American cousins) is usually packed at the best of times during the rush hour and the solid phalanx of commuters packed some eight deep meant that it would take an age to use that particular mode of transport.
Prior to this debacle I had the misfortune to be sat next to three admittedly rather attractive young ladies who spent the entire journey chirping away like so many fluttering Parakeets whilst I tried manfully to draft some ship charts. After the initial application of make up (ladies, should this not be done at home?) the three young ladies (and the inevitable comparison of products etc) then engaged in a communal texting session followed by the rest of the journey consisting of various discussions centred around work, boyfriends and the usual 'I turned round and said, and she turned round and said' (does anybody actually 'turn round and said'?) variety complete with hand gestures (and additional texting for verification of some disputed point).
I am not sexist and would still have taken umbrage if the three practitioners had been male - the point is I prefer to have a quiet journey where possible and keep very much to myself (as do many other on the train to be fair - it is usually far too early for idle conversation!) but this was not going to happen today.
Somebody should write a book on commuter etiquette to be issued when purchasing a season ticket and subject to regular testing by trained inspectors.
I take solace in the Delay and Repay form I shall be posting today - a small victory in the war against commuting!
Rant over but I still "Don't believeee it!!!"….;-)
The PS to this story is that I left the office at 16:00 GMT and finally stepped over the front doorstep at 18:35....
The five hours travelling time I have spent today would have sufficed to have gotten me to the Eastern end of the Mediterranean with sufficient time for a glass of Efes beer and a kebab.