Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Get comfortable, we're all friends here

I’m not sure what it is, but the British love crowding. Maybe it’s the freezing winters and crushing against one another is a way to keep warm, but personal space is not just a luxury, but unheard of.

I can understand the tube, where you have no choice but to have your face buried in someone’s arm pit, but sometimes it gets ridiculous. In some circumstance where there is absolutely no room what so ever, someone still tries to wriggle their way in. Certain times you wonder about the logic in this. For example, this morning, and many mornings for that matter, I wait to get on the tube with the other 4,000 commuters all trying to get on the same train. Letting my eyes wander to the announcement board that says when each train is coming, I notice that there are two trains arriving, with the same final destination, with in one minute of each other. So - as I thought most people would - I stand back and let the crowd get on the first one so that I can get on the less crowded second one. This is a pretty obvious strategy one would think, but apparently no. The amount of people ‘smashing’ their way on to the first tube and squeezing in so hard that they resemble the footage you see of wildebeest trying to cross a stream in Africa, is truly unbelievable. What is more bizarre is the stupidity of the people doing this, when 45 seconds later, myself and a few other equally bemused people casually stroll on to a second train, going to the EXACT SAME DESTINATION!

The only conclusion I can come to is this crowding culture has meant that many people feel lost when not squeezed in to a tight space (insert Benny Hill comment here). It happens everywhere. The other day at work the elevator was packed. As it reached the first floor on the way to the ground it stopped and three people stood there to contemplate if they were getting on. This elevator says ‘built to hold 16’ and I swear there would have been at least 20, but these three decided to push their way in to the crowd anyway - you are only one floor from the bottom, with the stair well next to the lifts – why?????

And after all that frustration, imagaine how annoyed I am when I get off/on the tube and have to be reminded by this sign near my stop that even a large aquatic bird is getting more than me!

Guess I'll just have to go and join these wankers...here

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