Lifestyle: Thoughts on Commuting

With all honesty, I’m not a seasoned commuter. Before the move to London my walk to work was 15 minutes if I was slow, and even them I was commuting out of London. So like I say, I had it easy. It doesn’t mean I don’t manage to get annoyed at the trains, at people, at buses, at everything though. So here it is, with tongue in cheek, I present to you my thoughts on commuting…

 photo 2015-08-17 11.41.06_zpspx4fnfro.jpgPS: I don’t actually commute now! I finished my placement way back at the end of August. I was a lady of leisure for a while (far too much leisure, after a potential Lyme Disease infection!), and am now back at university delighting in lectures and maths once more.

Buses & Queuing

Seriously, what is it with London buses and people’s inability to queue?! Back in Canterbury, even in Northampton, people form a relatively ordered line to get onto buses. None of this pushing and shoving to get to tap your Oyster card first…

Since When Did I Get So Aggressive?!

Leading on from the last point, on my first day of commuting I vowed to not push my way onto a bus. That lasted less than a week, after I was left standing in the rain ‘cos the bus was full. So yeah, I’m now getting on that bus no matter what. Elbows out!

Do Not Stop To Put Your Ticket Away Immediately After The Barrier

Just no. There will always be someone behind you at 8am, and someone behind them. You will get walked into, and probably called a bad word. Just hold onto the damn thing.
 photo Favourite London Things 2_zpspnnkfylg.jpg

There’s Lifts for a Reason

I’m running up the stairs to my platform as my train will leave in approximately 10 seconds. Please do not attempt to get heavy suitcases up these stairs. The lifts are two seconds away and you aren’t even running for the train.

Actually, Just Don’t Travel With Big Suitcases

Maybe pot calling kettle black here, as I do travel with suitcases (though generally cabin-bag sized). They slow people down on stairs, they take up seats (seriously, train is busy, your bag does not get priority for a seat over me), and they block exits. I’ve had to vault over suitcases to exit a train more times than I care to remember.

Please Move Down Inside The Carriages

Don’t stand in front of the doors just inside. I don’t care if you are getting off at the next stop, I would like to be able to board the train.

There is NO Room to Walk Between Carriages

I do a lot of journeys where the train divides. Yes, I know it is simpler to be in the correct part of the train (so do it when you get on), but in rush-hour you cannot attempt to squeeze by everyone to get to the right part. Especially with your giant suitcase. The trains are stationary on a platform for a while, it gives you time.

“Please May The Guard Contact The Driver”

The phrase you do NOT want to hear at 8am, when the train has just stopped in the middle of no-where, when you reallyyyy need to be in work early and set an earlier alarm to do so.

This event was due to a passenger physically assaulting a member of staff on the train in front, so the train had to wait at the station for police assistance. It was “nice” (though not for the victim!) to be delayed for a genuine reason that wasn’t something to do with National Rail or Southern…

 photo Favourite London Things 9_zpstbfyb60k.jpgWhilst I’m coming across as a grumpy bitch in this post, a lot of it is tongue in cheek, and only if I’m in a realllyyyy bad mood will these bug me. Or if they all affect one journey. But yep, you get the picture!

Do you have any interesting commuting stories to share?

  • So feel you on a lot of this! My big bugbear is when tubes or trains stop and there’s no annoucement or updates – especially when you’re underground, it can be quite scary. Other passengers definitely cause a lot of hassle though – the point about not stopping to put your ticket away is so true, and the same with people who get to the barriers THEN fumble around in their bags and pockets for their ticket. ARGH!

    • ninegrandstudent

      Oh, I HATE that. Stopping tubes is just so nervewracking! x

  • Jennifer K

    I understand a lot of this! I always feel my ‘inner Londoner’ return when I’m getting the train home from uni. I leave Bristol all friendly and forgiving, then reach Paddington and it’s all striding efficiently down to the tube, glaring at anyone who dares stop in my way! I’ve got a short commute to placement at the moment, a 10 minute walk and a 20 minute bus ride – all made much easier now that Bristol has introduced an equivalent to an Oyster card for the buses.
    I remember my first real experience of commuting in London, age 15 and on work experience with my dad in the city. I’m usually really leisurely about getting the tube, but this was travelling with a pro – knowing exactly which seat to sit on to be able to check if there was a fast train on the opposite platform, where all the exits are… and when you need to run for a tube!

    Jennifer x

    Ginevrella | Lifestyle Blog

    • ninegrandstudent

      London is so much more hectic that anywhere else! x

  • I can definitely relate to quite a few of these! Although in my experience the people at Canterbury bus station don’t always queue – you get a lot who sneak round the side, such a pain! xx


    • ninegrandstudent

      I haven’t actually been to Canterbury bus station since first year, so much easier to get on the bus down at Westgate! x