Monthly Archives: June 2016

Joys of public transport

The ‘great British summer’ has arrived. This means, having peaked at midsummer, it will gradually get dark early and early every evening from now onward. In the meanwhile, it’s been drippy wet and mediocre warm.

The strange thing is although temperatures are fairly moderate they are starting to soar on public transport as the heat gets in and it doesn’t get out. Also there are a lot more people on the trains. I thought they would all go on holiday but it seems they holiday in the Big Smoke. Moreover, the workers instead of riding bicycles or something into work seem wary of impeding rain and are all also on the train with me.

I miss my bicycle a lot but I really do stay too far now to use it daily.

Instead, the last two days into work, I seem to be seated next to Sick Boy. Bonus: I got a seat. Penalty: It’s next to patient zero. And it’s not hayfever when in addition to sniffling and nose blowing there are deep throaty coughs every now and then with a sort of wheezy sound in the background. It hasn’t been the same Sick Boy, but they were both young and twenty something ish so maybe they all hang out together in some uber cool underground bar somewhere passing germs around with other uber cool people.

The evening journey home last night was something else in a different way. I was on one of the flip up jump seats near the door. Three different girls with long hair all sat down next to me for only a few stops each. Everyone one of them had their very long hair loose. I kept thinking there was a bug crawling on my arm. Until I realised it was because their hair, which was sooo not part of my personal space, was brushing up against me and tickling me. They were then replaced by a girl with a bob. Who seemed normal enough until she kept trying to shuffle closer and closer to me til apparently our thighs were meant to align. She’d realise this and then sort of wiggle slightly back again.

Thing is, I double checked, I was quite clearly in my seat. And I couldn’t shuffle further down so she could have part of my seat because Candy Crush guy on the other side of me had his elbow partially in my airspace.

Poor girl. She didn’t look that big but I realised look at her again, she was the epitome of pear shaped childbearing. And I think a bit of her was coming off the seat on the other side and getting in the way of people by the door. Thing is, that’s not really my fault.

Anymore than if you are over six foot and have to sit in an economy seat next to me or crouch bent over on the train over me. Or have a really big penis and have to sit with your legs sprawled apart. Or really big boobs that mean you can’t cross your arms over but they use up my half of the armrest.

I realise that perhaps some of these problems are not your fault and I have a limited sympathy. But that is limited because I can’t reach the tops of supermarket shelves and tall people do not often help me. I don’t get extra baggage allowance even though I weigh less than half of the heaviest person on a plane as a rule. I have to take up the hem on almost everything I own, I can’t just buy stuff off the shelf and it fits.

And yes, I can give up some room to you, often I do. But then you take advantage and use up the ENTIRE armrest plus part of the air above my lap.

And actually, I pay the same amount as you do even if I don’t use up the same amount of space. That’s genetics for you. Maybe it sucks and it’s unfair. But it’s unfair for me too because there are cars I can’t drive and you can because I can’t adjust the seat enough to reach the pedals and see over the top. Life isn’t about being fair. And neither is public transport. It’s not the great leveller. If you could, you too would be in an aircon car all the way, wouldn’t you?




Filed under anecdote, equality, modern living, travel

First World Madness

So there is a big turning circle near my house. If you were going slowly enough you could probably get five cars into it. The water suppliers in their intelligence are digging up the road nearby. This has resulted in the turning circle turning into a something like a five way stop. All roads coming into the circle have to be on a traffic light system but some tributary roads have also been affected as they come out very close to the circle so are also on the light system.

Most of the time this is semi automated with these lights they set up portably that flip automatically from light to light in sequence, while irritating the other three or four lines of road users because if you jump a light you get to a point where the traffic is one way and you can’t cross, you are just stuck in the circle.

Except the other day there was a really bored guy standing there switching the portable traffic light on and off. And he’d have to communicate with his mate on the other side via walkie talkie to ensure they were in sync. Not unlike the proverbial waving the red flag guy with a bib who knocks off for lunch and evenings so roadworks have to be done in the day.

So England reverted to being like SA only with a bit more technology.

Health and safety.

Like today.

The fire alarm went off. This is an usually big office. So fire wardens have sticks with signs on and hi vis jackets and you find your sector and your floor.

Turns out the photocopy guys in the basement have their own sign, ¬†they seem to have lost the jacket. The thing is, there are TWO of them. TWO. If they can’t tick off a list with two I don’t know. Especially as they are like the master and the sith, it is more likely they are both at the pub or dead together in the building. But that’s procedure for you…


Leave a comment

Filed under anecdote, modern living, work