The joys of public transport
It’s been four long weeks, but oh how I’ve missed the great expedition of catching a London Midland train from Walsall to Perry Barr. The initial starting point of my journey looks lovely this time of year, with the ticket office men (sorry ‘Travel Permit Authorisation Team’) doing their bit for society by picking up little along the runways. They’re all prim and proper in their shirts and trousers with the formidable London Midland logo stitched into the top left-hand corner, and my oh my they do wear it with pride.
Things get worse when I enter the train, but I tend to come unstuck at this point in one of three scenarios before I even enter; either I’m always behind an elderly lady who takes forever to climb aboard, a chav (sorry ‘Burberry-capped seeking-work Jeremy Kyle infamous celebrity) who misses their footing or somebody who doesn’t realise the light indicator means you can push the little button to open the doors.
Now, anyone whose been on a train journey, or a bus journey for that matter, will probably know what it’s like. There are many wonderful people who take the train to work or university, or those who have a tendency for riding without a ticket or the thrill of train spotting. I may sound, in the following examples, snobby or single-minded, but it’s my view of public transport, and probably yours’ too.
So what scenarios or types of people do we get the fortune of sharing a train with?
- The cycler – always blocks your entrance to the train and expects you to shimmy like 007 around the frame, usually standing dead bang in the middle of the aisle to prevent you from finding a seat; instead we settle for the flip-up seats for the poorer second-class passengers
- The annoying one – usually plays their music so loud everyone can hear JLS, think that shouting over the phone in slang is cool on a train or decide to spread their feet across the row of seats in front of them to prevent you from sitting down
- The newspaper reader – these business-like, crossword-indulged individuals usually knock your face around while they decide to spread their arms to read a broadsheet newspaper (or, in some cases, their legs as well if they wish to join the Mile Train Club)
- The ignorant – an old lady who looks frail and in need of a rest is ignored by almost everyone on the train, and only the most polite little Oxford type gives up their seat; talk about Age Concern, eh?
- The loved-up pair – in front of almost everyone, these two kiss passionately, feel each other’s bits and talk openly about having intercourse (or, in common terms, sex) when they get back home – no, says the man, let’s just have a McDonald’s and get back to kissing
- The stink – you can smell their body odour a mile away, or if you have a lack of smell, the wet patch is a traditional give-away
- The starer – these people will stare at you for no apparent reason and make you uncomfortable
- The weird talker – random people who you sit next to will suddenly start talking to you as if you were friends
- The mum and two kids – a hard-working mother who simply cannot take it anymore; no better place than a train to tell your kids in a pram (nine-years-old) to ‘shut the f@ck up or your daddy will slap ‘yo cheeks’
- The silent type – if you’re the silent, I’m-on-a-train-to-travel-that’s-it type then you’ll be pleased to know your normal.