London: Give Me Some Room

Holidays only really succeed in highlighting the tedium of my regular existence.

Being separated from London for any amount of time enhances my growing frustration with the city that grates my cheese.

With regard to everything and everyone else absence generally does make my heart grow fonder. But when it comes to the capital, shitty the heart tends to grow colder as if it is a mirror reflecting the city’s personality right back at it.

Whilst on holiday, instead of weaving strategically through a packed Tube platform I sauntered whimsically along a blissful seafront with the spatial awareness of a blind, one-legged, senile pensioner. During which time nobody bumped into me, snarled at me, or made me feel as worthless as Monopoly money in Coutts.

Considering the fact that free range chickens are close to being given expense accounts, motorised scooters and individual penthouses overlooking the Thames, why are we humans, with the power to create our own destiny, choosing daily to be shoehorned into a metal tube with the comfort factor of pins and needles in the Sahara? If I have to go crotch-to-crotch with one more stranger that is so repulsive I wouldn’t even use them to sandbag my house as a flood deterrent then I’m going to have a breakdown.

Most trips characterised by inconvenience tend to have some sort of payout when you reach your destination, like water at the end of the dessert or birds migrating to avoid the winter. But when I reach my destination – being work – I’m encased in a tiny office that resembles a shed that’s storing the sun.

Lets leave it there with the Tube, because frankly it gets far too much press for something increasingly annoying; the Jordan of London’s public transport.

If it was merely London’s transport that robbed us of our personal space then that could be stomached, like eating my mum’s food every six months. But the problem is we’re smashed together in every aspect of London life. Small flats, packed parks, busy streets and more…

Once I’m freed from the sauna, a walk home along the river seems like the perfect tonic, except I once again find myself cheek-to-cheek with other Londoners. Cyclists seem to have adopted the arrogance of businessmen in posh convertibles; coming at you full throttle with your only option being to move or die as they apparently rule both pavement and road.

By the time I get home and close the door to my flat I could happily stay there for a million years or more. So long as I get to be alone.

Image by Dimitry B courtesy of Flickr

2 Responses

  1. nita

    Not being a London dweller I dont fully understand the full horror of the tubes, but Midland transport is deady enough after a well sought break.

    Seems like London is to you like a friend you put up with but dont really like, but if you dont see, you would pay to.

    chill out – stay at home and write you have the talent

  2. I don’t really let feeling like a sardine bother me too much when I’m on the tubes, it is just the way it is and you have to get on with things. What really pisses me off, is when you get some dumb idiot that tries to barge onto the tube without letting you off, that is just pure ignorance

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