Tube Trouble – London, United Kingdom

Friday was full on as I met up with Elliot from Oz (who I annoyed all night with my ET jokes) and then met up for dinner with my Ilford housemates. We ate noodles (freshly squeezed juice; apple orange and carrot layers for the undecided type like me) and took family photos before I headed down to Fulham Broadway to meet up with Ted. He and his mates were well into the sauce by the time I had arrived and had accumulated several “souvenirs” commemorating Mr. Jack Daniels` birthday.

I only meant to stay for one drink but apparently I had missed the last tube by a matter of minutes and I was completely on the opposite side of town from where I lived. Shucks. I ended up trekking back to Teds` friends house and meant only to have one more drink before calling a cab home but one turned into 3 when they pulled out the play station dancing game. All 7 of us took turns bouncing around on this mat to dance/pop/techno selections trying to foot follow the arrows on the TV. I know, it sounds strange but that`s because it is.

This is what English boys do for fun on a Friday nite? Well, the night wore on as it does and we ended up chatting about philosophy and ethics until I don`t even know when. All I know is that Saturday morning was bright and sunny and I was quite impressed that I remembered my windey way back to the tube station which was at least 15 mins away by foot.

I stopped in at home for a quick shower before heading back out this time to Hyde Park. I actually haven`t really been here before and found it to be absolutely humongous. Alice texted me asking where I was and I really couldn`t tell her.

“Um. There is a pathway (several really; some for biking, some for walking some for rollerblading) and trees, some pretty flower gardens and a river of some sort.”

Anyway, I finally found her and we all caught up enjoying lattes and champagne toasts at the Dell, a quaint restaurant overlooking the Serpentine. The sun was gleaming down and the glassy blue water was only disturbed by the occasional duck coasting by, making it a perfect day for a girl chat in the park. Next I was off to Waterloo station to meet up with Sonya and Andy who were coming into London for the night.

Rant Time: Here is where I must make a statement about our friendly neighbourhood Tube. Remember how I said people shouldn’t be so grumpy and sour but should rather smile and be cheery to each other? Well, I still think that its better to try and make the best out of things but MAN! I can completely empathize now with why some may get fed up with this system. I mean, sure, nothing is foolproof and everything has problems here and there but this past 3 days not ONCE did my train work properly. Everything went wrong!

I waited about 45 mins for one train (they are supposed to come about every three minutes) and then they told us (actually they said it but no one could make out the muffled Charlie-browns-teacher-ish announcement) that we would have to move to a completely different platform. This happened again and again and again on many different lines as well as prolonged stops in the middle of a tunnel with no explanation or estimated time of departure. Then I would go all the way to a station only to get to the top of the escalator where the sign would say “Sorry, this line is closed for the weekend.” That was just after I read downstairs that everything was Normal! I guess they weren`t lying. This kind of chaotic circus mess is normal for the Tube.

Anyway, I think that if I worked in London I would probably try and take the bus or ride a bike or walk or something. That kind of deprivation of fresh air and natural light must do something to ones` sanity (see Canadian movie called “Waydowntown” to watch full experiment on this). But still. I don`t think that its any excuse to scowl at a friendly smile or jump in front of the train (or out of an office window for that matter). What do they say? If you cant stand the stench, get out of the underground. Right. Easier said than done, I know. Oh the sacrifices one must make to earn the almighty pound.

Ok. Rant over.

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