Perhaps the most important thing to master in London is the art of transporting oneself across the city. British public transport my friends, is a fiendish ghoul that you must learn to conquer before you may embark on your mission to become a true “Londoner”.
Here are the imperative rules for navigating the tube…
- Oyster Cards: You should obtain one of these little buggers as soon as your feet shuffle into the London postcode. It will save you money full stop AND you can swipe (glide) through the barriers effortlessly making you look suave and sassy all in one.
- Boarding: Never board before passengers have departed. Just don’t. Someone will punch you. Okay, they won’t, but being British these passengers will give you the death-stare from hell and all of the huffing noises until you physically leave their presence.
- Seating arrangements. You may sit if there are free spaces. You must not lean over people until you scare them into giving up a seat. You must always give up your seat for pregnant women/the older generation/people with broken limbs… the list is endless. Always double check that the pregnant women you are giving your seat up for are actually pregnant or this could be problematic. They should depict their impending motherhood with a jaunty badge that says ‘baby on board’…. TFL are hugely proud of this pun I imagine.
- Suitcases: Okay people. NO SUITCASES IN RUSH HOUR WHEN SLEEPY HUMAN BEINGS ARE TRYING TO GET TO WORK ON TIME AND THEY DID NOT GET THEIR MORNING COFFEE BECAUSE THEY ARE RUNNING LATE DUE TO LACK OF SLEEP. ‘nuff said.
- Tube Maps: This one is simple; never, ever, carry a tube map if you value your possessions or indeed your health. If you look like a stupid tourist, you will be treated like a stupid tourist. Your things will promptly be whipped from your camera carrying, waterproof clad, visor wearing body faster than you can say, ‘I do actually live here….’ If you need to plan a journey, do so before you leave. Or should you like to be worth your salt as a future-Londoner you will download the handy app entitled ‘city-mapper’, which does basically what it says on the tin.
- Food: A basic no-go should this food smell/look any colour that is not bland/make other hungry commuters grouchy. You will not be happy when they barge you out of the way later down the line when you are in their path to food…
- Phone-calls: Loud, obnoxious telephone conversations about your totally buff weekend just won’t cut the mustard with the several hundred commuters you are sharing your journey home with. Cue more death stares, possibly some tutting and a lot of judgement.
I hope these guidelines can make your journeys more comfortable and make you less likely to recieve death-stares on your way to work.