Rush Hour Rant
Updated: Feb 13
Should I have already accepted that I chose to live in one of the biggest cities in the world and with that, comes lots and lots of clueless tourists? Or are the majority of the London population slow, in the way and unaware that I have put in a good day’s work, I am tired, and I want to be bathed and in bed all before 9?
I remember the buzzy feeling when I first moved to the big smoke. I would jump off that national express coach and all of a sudden slip into my imaginary Maida Vale living life. Even being on a tube sent waves of excitement and independence through me. I felt on top of the world. Nothing could stop me, and I would be so sad when I had to get back onto the coach and make my way home.
As a regular visitor to London for auditions, I would naturally fit into the London rush and would get carried along with the crowd to my destination. Even if I was an hour or two early, there is always something to do to pass time in London.
Fast forward a few years and what a whole different person/view/feeling.
I see red most of the time I am on a train and I feel awful in hindsight because my anger can be towards a cute, innocent, finding their voice toddler right through to an expectant mother looking comfy in their seat. The amount of times I have questioned where you get those ‘baby on board‘ badges and if you have to have proof there is actually a bun in the oven to receive one.
I have come to the conclusion that all slow as a snail, clueless daydreaming tourists gather their things and plan to set on their journey home at approximately 5 or 6pm and prepare to ‘join in’ for fun ... the London rush hour!
When I lock up after a day of hard selling and head to the station. I am instantly sent in to a grumpy, furious commuter persona just by seeing the station crowd from a distance. It infuriates me that people cannot click onto the ‘stand on right hand side’ of the escalator quick enough, that you cannot just stop in the middle of the platform to check you are going the right way. It completely baffles me still to this day that rather than wait for the next train to arrive in under less than a minute, people would rather have the train doors knock their own blocks off their shoulders by pushing their way onto the already jam packed carriage.
Londoners are and always will be extremely ignorant, narrow minded and grumpy at rush hour and it is a lifestyle that you fall into and have to accept comes with the life of living in London.
There is no Good Mornings to your loud, noisy neighbours. There is no apology for barging past people and nearly pushing each other onto the tracks. Unfortunately, there is no sympathy if you choose to take the stairs with your pushchair instead of the lift with the hope of everyone rushing to help you up. It’s rather sad really that most people would rather see an elderly or pregnant woman stand than offer their seat. People don’t look up from their phone and realise what is going on around them.
I will put my hand up, we have all been there and I feel extremely guilty for a good while afterwards when I have fell into my ignorant Londoner bubble and realised I could of stopped looking at my phone and been aware enough to offer my seat, I could of helped, I could of not got angry and I could of apologised but unfortunately in this city that we live in, there is an air of ‘my destination is more important than yours’ and a secret mentality that ‘my day was more tiring than yours’.
Some of these paragraphs were written in anger whilst waiting for the next available train to come, others were written in a calmer state of mind where I could reflect on my feelings at the time and wonder why we have to get ourselves worked up the way we do. I view myself as a kind, not a bad bone in my body kind of person but when I think to the person people see during rush hour, I would also think “what a bitch” when I keep death staring the 4 year old who is whining because he’s hungry, I am also rather hungry. I am also rather inconsiderate and never take into consideration how everyone is feeling in the rush hour commute, and that no matter how important you think your end destination is or how tired you are. There is probably somebody worse off than you.
I am going to try my ultimate hardest to keep my cool in London. To be more patient when a group of exchange students are gathering at the Tube Map sign blocking the escalators. To not say ‘excuse me’ to the three year old standing on the left of the escalators. To actually wait for seven or eight trains to pass until an empty one comes, it’s going to be a less sweaty, airy experience anyway. I can’t promise that when I have had an absolute shit day I am not going to sigh and feel slightly agitated. Learning it’s half term and knowing full well the museum visiting families are going to block the station entrances isn’t going to sit perfectly well, but I will try, honest. After all, it was me who chose to live in this exciting, electric city. I just have to accept all that comes with it.