Commuting is all part of the fun


I love trains. I really flipping love trains, they’re far and away the best mode of transport ever. And I admit that they have their disadvantages; they’re ridiculously expensive, they’re generally late or break down and they’re always crowded. But apart from that they’re flipping great.

This revelation is not a new thing, I’ve always liked sitting on trains I just find it a much more relaxing way to travel than a car or a bus or a plane or even cycling. Once you’ve left the town you began in railways always pass though the most picturesque parts of the English countryside, which for a country-born lad like me is a inevitably nostalgic. Even the most urban city dweller probably can’t help but be moved by the rolling fields of green and brown streaming past. Unless of course it’s night. Most people however seem to prefer the Metro (don’t even mention the London Lite) or some trashy novel, but there’s no pleasing some people.

What is excellent fun, if you’re possessed of a certain peverse sense of humour, is to wait until you’re on a train where everyone is crammed in like breathing sardines, and then slip out one of those silent but deadly poisonous farts young boys spend years perfecting. Look on in barely concealed mirth as every eye swivels around in panic, unable to escape the stench but equally unwilling to break with convention and actually say something aloud. It’s like a murder mystery, everyone knows one of the others is responsible, but who could it be?!

Another fun game to play, of a more philosophical, life affirming nature, is about setting your journey to music. By this I mean plugging in your earphones to whatever unspecified music playing product (iwhat?) and just watching your fellow passengers for those wonderful, rare moments where it seems they’re movements are part of some choreographed music video. As the train slows into the station people rise in ones and twos, crossing each other to reach up and down for their bags. Others stir and shuffle into file, waiting for their cue. Then the exploding crescendo as the doors open in unison and the people spill, left foot, right foot across the platform. Lovely stuff.

Reading that back that all sounded pretty strange, but I do recommend you give it a try. Or maybe buy a Grisham novel.

But there’s a whole world just beyond the glass.


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