London would not be able to function without the tube. It’s the quickest and most useful method of transport in the capital. Yet it’s also the most infuriating. Most meetings in the city begin with a complaint about the tube and the nightmare journey that just befell the traveler. However, there are certain codes of conduct that can make your underground experience a little better and if you’re a Londoner you will be all to familiar with these nifty tips for surviving the underground.
Have a distraction technique to hand
It’s early in the morning and the previous night’s cocktails are lingering in your head and on your mouth. A colleague or bad tinder date (if that’s the same person, run) is seen in the distance. No one wants this conversation, especially in the tight, confines of the sweaty, noisy tube. Whether it be your phone or the morning Metro newspaper, keep eyes fixated on reading material a short distance away and don’t look up until you’ve reached your destination.
If the situation threatens to worsen – you’ve been clocked and someone is approaching – then pretend to answer a phone call and whisper sweet nothings into that receiver like your life depended on it.
Pretend you never wanted to sit there in the first place
You’ve had a long day and your legs are aching. You would love a seat and would commit murder to get one. Suddenly, one is available right next to your exhausted, stationary frame. Rather than immediately sitting down, slyly glance at everyone else in close proximity and inch forwards. When the seat is inevitably taken, along with your hopes and dreams, start tapping your foot to your music as though you are really enjoying standing there. Maybe swing on the handrails or, for full affect, just stride off the train at the next stop, regardless of where you are.
A missed train needn’t be a missed opportunity for exercise
If you see your train pulling away, and your meek effort at running to catch it fails, do not break stride. Continue running and just keep going. Pretend you’re simply out on your morning run. In a suit. With a briefcase. (also applicable for want-a-way buses and taxis).
Headphone bleed and the power of shame
If a fellow passenger is suffering from headphone bleed, the terrible affliction where the latest Justin Bieber is leaking out of their Beats and sound-tracking everyone’s tortuous commute, do not politely inform them. A less complicated method than actually having to speak, one should start nodding their head in rhythm or even mouth along to the lyrics. The noise-polluting passenger will immediately be shamed towards the mute button.
Considering a vice-versa situation, should your headphone jack not be properly inserted as you press play on an embarrassing gangster rap banger, simply cast judgmental glances at other ear-adorned passengers while you frantically lower the volume.
Stealth sweat checking
You’re sure you took a shower this morning but the brusque walk to the station and the mortifying dropping of change at your morning Costa has rendered you a little sweaty. A packed carriage and some difficulty removing your jacket has only exacerbated the situation. Arm foisted skyward to grip a hand rail, you are concerned about an aroma in the train. A tip – check guilt by pretending to scratch your chin / face on your shoulder and sneak a little sniff. What to do if you are the culprit though, we are not so sure.