Reasons to Hate the Tube #5: Tourists
Tourists. It’s hard to criticise them too much. London can be a pretty daunting place and we’ve all been in a large foreign city. When you’re out of your comfort zone, everyone always seems to know exactly where they’re going. There’s no-one willing to stop and help.
The first giveaway is the smile. Simple as that. Tourists haven’t experienced the daily signal failures, the packed carriages, the musk that wafts through the tunnels during summer. Put simply, their souls haven’t been eroded away by the mundane. The second sign is when they press the ‘Open Door’ button. It’s an easy mistake to make the first time you use the tube. After all, why have it if it’s not meant to be used?
The only logical explanation is TFL’s doing us a favour. It’s a sly heads up, warning commuters to use the other door. If you end up following the ‘pressers’ through the door, you’re only going to get stuck behind them. They’ll immediately stop, blocking the way as they scan in which direction to head. No-one can get off the tube and nobody can get on. It’s made even more irritating when they’re totally oblivious to the other passengers (this might help explain the torment suffered).
Other criminal actions include the mass-studying of Underground map. Choosing your route as a horde will bemuse even the most patient. Is it really that complicated? Does the whole group need to argue if the Circle Line’s the way to go (insider tip: it never is). It’s a one person task. You don’t have multiple people shouting directions in a minivan as you drive, so why overload the narrow tunnels with your aimless chatter.
Then there’s the bags. If you wish to pack every worldly possession into a backpack, please travel after 10am. Your over zealous bag prevents at least four commuters reaching their jobs.
Let’s take the following anecdote. There are over 190 steps in Covent Garden Tube station, (the most well known of all tourist traps). There’s also an equal amount of signs pre-warning people that it’s a pretty tough climb. Yet, despite the warning, tourists think it wise to take the arduous trip. Anyone who regularly uses the stairs can usually ascend quicker than the lifts. However every time you rush up the stairs, you find yourself stuck behind a morbidly obese gentleman who looks like he’s climbing Everest. He’ll say, often in a gruff American accent, ” D’ya know Edith, I didn’t realise there was so many steps!” No? Well I did and your sluggish progress is preventing me from escaping your company. Pay attention next time.
So never one to complain without offering wisdom, here’s five helpful tips for tourists to make life easier for everyone:
- That’s my face, not a baggage rack.
- It’s the Northern Line, not the black line.
- We don’t want to hear you, in your nasal tone, discuss like, totally, everything.
- You see that map, the one placed by TFL in a thoroughfare, it’s not actually for use.
- Get. Out. Of. My. Way.
Disclaimer: According to Steve Hogarty, my last reason to hate the Tube (make-up) was evidence that I’m a misogynist. To prevent equal sarcastic comment, I love Americans. I’m travelling to the US in September because I like them so much (second year in a row). One day, I hope to emigrate there.
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