2016 m. rugsėjo 19 d., pirmadienis

Off the Rails

Buzzing with excitement about moving to London, I started flat hunting as soon as I arrived. After joining all possible room renting social media communities, my e-mail account got flooded with all sorts of room offers from agents and with computer generated recommendations. It seemed that with such wide spectrum of choice I could fill up my calendar with flat viewings each day for another year. However, I wanted to find my new home as soon as possible, as staying at a friend’s place was fun, but not ideal.

My first-ever flat viewing in London. For the first time since I started thinking of myself as someone who now lives in London, I had to take a tube all by myself.  It never occurred to me, while I was visiting as a tourist, what actually happens in the tube. This time I could clearly see that… nothing happens. People are either bluntly staring through the windows into darkness, or, in the exact same manner, into the screens of their smart phones. It made me think of people and tubes.
A small list of things I noticed:
  • Hundreds of thousands of people might be using the same tube line at the same time. All of them have smartphones.
  •  If you are sitting and it is crazy busy, the chances are that you will not notice how busy it is. However, you absolutely will if you are standing.
  • If Evening Standard thinks that 900k people read their newspaper daily, they should multiply it by 3. This is how many people I usually see picking up the same paper from a seat. Sharing is caring, I guess.
  • If you want to feel like a hero, give your seat up for someone else. Feels great, believe me.
  • The most fun you can have is secretly making faces in front of someone’s kids. This is the only exception to the eye contact rule. (See bellow)
  • If you look at the top of the window while sitting, you will see how it stretches your face in a funny way. If you do the same thing while standing, you will get dizzy or even sick, and will likely fall down or at least lose your balance.
  • Probably not all weirdly looking people are serial killers and perverts, but making up their life stories makes the journey so much shorter.
  • Absolutely nobody makes any eye contact in a tube (or more like in the entire city). If you trip over someone's foot, you may touch the person's arm while apologizing, but never look in the eyes. If you bump into someone, mumble something like 'sorry', (might as well touch the arm), but no eye contact. 

I am so happy there were no tubes involved in my life when I was growing up! Tube station matches a full picture of hell. No flames, but it is equally hot in there. Occasionally, you can even see some sparkles between the rail and the train. An odd smell, darkness, you never really know where you are. I bet all the mice are deaf from all the horrible noise that trains make. Sounds like a full set of childhood trauma for me.

Coming back to the flat viewing… this will have to wait, completely went off the track (or rails???) here! Next time – back to the adventures of flat hunting!

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