Bluenose Girl

Life on the Tube - You know shaving, made-up application, yoga, the works!

[![London Underground map from 1908](http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/9/90/Tube_map_1908-2.jpg/300px-Tube_map_1908-2.jpg "London Underground map from 1908")](http://commons.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Tube_map_1908-2.jpg)Image via Wikipedia
What kind of Londoner would I be if I didn’t have a moan about the tube?  I come from a city that during off peak travel if you miss your bus the next one is in an hour on 90% of the routes, and if it is winter that means waiting out in weather that with the windchill factor can be -15C.  When my car broke down one February the thought of not having a car in Halifax and having to take public transport had me in hysterics.   ## Not All Tube Lines are Created Equal Arriving in London, a city where owning a car is more trouble than it is worth, with a transport system that includes, buses, boats, trains, tubes, tram, [DLR](http://www.tfl.gov.uk/modalpages/2632.aspx "Docklands Light Railway") options, as well as night buses that could get you home after midnight, was all very exciting.  My first flat was closest to the Hammersmith and City line, and so my first lesson was all tube lines are not created equal.  This tube line can have up to a 15 minute wait between trains if you missed one.  This didn’t seem too bad at first when the weather was good and I wasn’t working.  However when you are trying to get to work, and it’s cold and rainy, 15 minutes starts to become a problem. On the Hammersmith and City line this wait was often longer than 15 minutes so  I made the most of the refund rule that [Transport for London](http://www.tfl.gov.uk "Transport for London") has for waits longer than 15 minutes. On a good month I got £28 back (if only the iPhone app existed back then I could have easily doubled that).   ## Summer – Some Like it Hot When summer arrived the next thing I learned is; it’s a good thing London hitting 30C is international news and that it doesn’t happen often.  When London gets hot the deepest of the tubes can be over 40C once the humidity is factored in (keep in mind that the maximum temperature cattle can be transported at is 27C!).  If you are unlucky enough to have to take one of the deeper level tube lines to work, cramming onto carriages like sardines with others who are hot and sweaty, it isn’t the best start to the day – yuck!   ## The things people do on the tube! Just when you think you have seen it all, someone starts doing yoga on the tube, or shaving their legs.  The stories I have heard from friends, and the things I have seen myself have been quite eye opening.  One evening on the way home a girl sat next to a guy pulled out a plastic shopping bag, held it out and the guy next to her (who she didn’t know) puked into it!  Turns out she was a nurse and recognized what was about to happen. There are buskers, impromptu singing, begging, but heaven forbid if you make eye contact with your fellow passengers.   ## Tube Entertainment When taking the tube I always make sure to have something to read, but if caught out there are always the free newspapers, The Metro in the mornings and the Evening Standard in the afternoons.  Also good to have is a music player and some good earphones, just in case you have a heavy breather or some other annoying noise to block out. There are also tube related sites, one really interesting one is,[ Live Train Map of the London Underground](http://traintimes.org.uk/map/tube/ "live tube map") by Matthew Sommerville.  It shows the tube lines on a map with the locations of each train in real time.  When if first launched the site crashed when everyone tried to take a look. When I lived in Canada I had quite a few giggles over the stories and announcements on the web site [Going Underground](http://www.goingunderground.net/ "Going Underground").  By a complete fluke I ended up at an event with 15 others including Annie Mole the webmaster of that site.  It is very entertaining and interesting site (hopefully it will be brought up to date soon as it is a bit hard on the eyes).  She also keeps her own [blog](http://london-underground.blogspot.com/ "blog") of all things tube related which is also a great read.   ## Tips If you see Mind the Gap written on the side of the platform, this is the place to stand as this is where the doors will be. Another tip for figuring out how long a journey will take  is; every station you go through is 2 minutes, for each change of line, add 5 minutes, then add 10 mintes for getting in and out of the stations The last thing worth mentioning is engineering work on the weekend. This has been going on for years, with no end in sight. Lesson was learned quite quickly, make sure to check what lines are down for the weekend before leaving the house Saturday or Sunday.  And as a side note if there is strike talk, make sure to make note of the date on your calender and don’t make any plans that day if you can help it. So if you find yourself in London you now know what to expect!   [button link=”http://eepurl.com/dmd1g” type=”icon” icon=”mail”] Sign up here for weekly updates from Bluenose Girl.[/button]
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