Saturday, June 5, 2010

Sound of the Underground

Getting around on London tube is simple and sweaty, certainly during these global-warming ridden times. I both love and hate the tube. I love it because of its aforementioned simplicity and the fact that you can go down steps in Bethnal green, multicultural east end London, and come up in the heart of west London in Hammersmith without seeing light. Two points here:

1. 1 1. Could JK Rowling have gotten her inspiration for floo powder from the tube for the Harry Potter books

2. 2. This is my daily journey to work rather than an arbitrary route I choose.

I digress, the reason why I hate it; the tube goes against my fundamental desire to know exactly where I am at all times. The tube map does assist this, but I like to see landmarks (not specifically well known landmarks, just buildings that stand out to me) so that I can self-congratulate when I see them repeated times and realise where I am. There is no better feeling than knowing that you are getting familiar with an area that was previously unknown to you (I would put this feeling in the same category as the feeling you get when someone mistakes you for a local, asks you for directions and you KNOW how to get where they want to go). This leads me to taking buses at all opportunities when time is on my side; at the weekend, after work, basically any time when I’m not on my way to work. It’s great to be able to piece together the bits of the city you know, especially when you’re obsessed with that kind of thing. What I like doing is knowing the city SO WELL that I can TAKE THE BUS to lesser known areas to make my journey faster. The problem is that it really doesn’t make the journey faster at all, in fact I have just returned from a journey where I took one and a half hours to travel from Clapham north to Bethnal Green, a distance spanning a total of 6.1 miles. There was no traffic. I thought I was being really smart and fooling the system by taking the bus. I was wrong, but I'd probably do the very same thing again because I love seeing the city!

1 comment:

  1. You're dead right, as soon as the Tube novelty wears off for me (VERY soon) I'll be all over that bus! Got the bus once from Brixton to the Clap it was most pleasant!