Commuter Rage

How do I plead?

Guilty as charged.

Let me begin by quoting from the Metro (15th March 2010):

Londoners are the most unwelcoming people in the country, according to a survey. People in the capital also lack basic manners and politeness, the poll by hotel chain Jurys Inn found. ‘It seems Londoners have the least amount of time for people – they’re too busy rushing around, leading hectic lives’, said a Jurys spokesman. Glasgow and Bradford were second and third in the grumpy stakes, with Southampton, Norwich and Exeter the top three most welcoming places.

I have to say, I can fully understand and believe this article. I would like to travel to London as a foreigner and see with my own eyes what tourists and other travellers see with theirs. I often take pride in my easy-going and calm nature and as someone who is always called upon to cool a crisis. That is all lost however as soon as I enter the confines of the London Underground. As soon as I do, I turn into a homicidal maniac. I honestly do. It is interesting that it is LONDONERS  and not BRITISH people who earn the title.

What is it about London that makes otherwise calm and gentle people into these creatures? I was once on the tube, fortunately some distance away, when to gain entry to an already cattle hen of a carriage one man punched another in the face. The attacker then proceeded to enter with no comment whatsoever. What was more surprising was the victim did not react in any away and neither did his fellow passengers.

Having said this, not long after the July bombings in 2005, I was travelling home on the underground via the Circle line. We came to a stop at Aldgate station and after a while were told to evacuate the station due to a suspect package found either on the train itself or on the platform (can’t remember which). Britishness was marked clearly in everyone who calmly and patiently evacuated the station. Upon exiting out onto the street and with the fear of further bombings or ‘suspect packages’ found on buses, calmness reigned with many sharing taxis, maps and giving guidance to those unaccustomed to the London streets.

Londoners are the hardest workers in Europe according to this article from the Evening Standard and with an even the most expensive rail network in the WORLD. No wonder us Londoners are frustrated commuters. Instead of judging us, sympathise with us. You will find that all is not lost if only you spare a moment of thought for commuters in Delhi who set fire to a train in protest to a change in its running schedule.

Commuter Rage: How do YOU plead?


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