I wrote this short poem for the days we travel on public transport and there is the unrelenting commuter that insists on blocking everyone’s path. If you can relate, this one is for you. (Side note: “ode” in the context of this post is “a lyric poem, typically one in the form of an address to a particular subject, written in varied or irregular metre” and NOT ode in the Yoruba language, used as an insult 😅)
We all have somewhere to be
Please tell me why you are blocking me?
I understand you don’t know your way
However understand this is neither the time nor day
Members of staff are available to help
So please be kind enough to keep to the left
All I want today is a smooth journey
So I may arrive at my destination early
When you stand in the middle of the walking path you see
You block the flow of movement for everyone (including me)
So please be considerate of what you are doing
And keep to the left so we can all keep moving
Please believe I wrote this in about 5 minutes (I’m shocked too!)
Until next time
Memoirs Of A Yoruba Girl
Who travels to work with the underground? I do.Who travels for leisure on the underground? I do. Who has a car but still takes the underground around? Me (when I get the car). Basically the London Underground is a staple of travelling for Londoners. You either love it hate it but you probably can’t do without it. Since July, I have had to travel to and from work via the London Underground AKA beloved sauna/sardine tin.
I have come to realise there are many people that travel on the London Underground that don’t know what they are doing. This can leave other passengers (namely me) a little frustrated, annoyed sometimes straight up angry. So I have complied the “Travelling on the London Underground 101” guide
1.When travelling on the underground, especially during peak times of the day, keep your bag close to you with the zip in your eyesight – how can you travel in such a busy place with the zip on your bag facing all the other London passengers? It’s just silly to be honest. A bit like, (actually a lot like) people who go to a cash machine to get cash and show everyone else their pin. If the bag doesn’t have a zip , don’t even bother.
2.Please respect my personal space, even on the underground – sometimes when the train is packed, its very likely you’ll have to get closer to a stranger than you feel comfortable. As much as possible, respect their personal space. Sitting down doesn’t give you the right to poke away at my arms with your elbows either.
3.If there is little to no chance of you being able to board the train, save the running and trying to fly through the doors for another day – if I see a train with the doors open I instantly become superwoman and run for the doors BUT I can happily accept if I cant catch the train and will happily walk and wait.
4.If the train is packed (or not) make sure your bag /goods aren’t stuck in the door – it’s so so annoying when the train breaks suddenly and does the “jerk break” that can send you flying across the train.
5.Hold on to something when the train is moving – the said “jerk break” can have you upstanding one minute and have you sat in a stranger’s lap the next minute – awkward.
6.When travelling on the underground, anything can happen…absolutely anything – In all the time I’ve been using the underground, I have seen a spice girls tribute performance, a few being swung by said “jerk break”, a sleeping man who had the courtesy to take off his shoes before napping. I was so surprised I had to take pictures, which are below.
7. If you catch someone’s eye while travelling, quickly look away or they may think you are weird , attracted to them or crazy – tourists may not always understand this and may stare away at you.
8. If you see an elderly person standing, offer them your seat – the only difficulty now is you can’t always tell who is actually old and deserves to take a seat and someone who just looks a bit old but is really young. You risk possibly offending someone if you judge it a bit wrong.
9.If you see a pregnant lady standing on the train, again rule 8 applies – I salute the pregnant ladies I see travelling on the underground, it looks like torture. I only just realised people wear the “baby on board” badge to let you know they are actually pregnant.
10. During rush hour, empty seats are like water in the desert – when the train is packed everyone patiently waits for a seat to become vacant. When one becomes free, you have a split second of thinking time to either take the seat or give it up. If you take too long, someone will take the seat.
11. If you don’t know where you are going, please don’t stand in the middle of the walkway to plan your journey – the staff of the London Underground are employed for times like this. Don’t suffer in silence, ask one of them.
12. When travelling underground, if you don’t have earphones on, headphones on, a phone to watch things on, a kindle to read or a tablet/iPad or a newspaper to read, you are missing out
13. When waiting on the platform for the train, step away from the yellow line – the day I heard in passing that people can intentionally push other people over the edge was the day I quickly backed away and looked back.
14. Please take your newspaper with you when you leave the train, DON’T try to balance it on the window behind – I think Londoners are just litter bugs, that’s why they would rather drop things in the floor than take them and bin them
15. If someone is reading a newspaper, please don’t peer over their shoulder to read it – I don’t know if this ticks anyone else off but it ticks me off to no end
Even with all my ranting, I do love the underground. It’s iconic, a staple of London and actually cuts down loads of time on commuting. London Underground, We Love You!
Any I missed out? Drop them below in the comments box
Until next time
Memoirs Of A Yoruba Girl