Tube Etiquette

Today’s post is a guest article written by my friend Kirsty, her witty and funny observations about behaviour on the Tube will make you chuckle…

Commuting on the Tube every day can drive even the politest of people to become incandescent with rage by the innumerable behavioural crimes committed on a daily basis. Given that Londoners spend so much time travelling each day, here are my top tips on Tube etiquette:

1.       Offer your seat

We’ve all been there when a frail person or pregnant woman gets on the train and commuters are already crammed into seats, suffering from post-work fatigue. The golden rule is always offer your seat to those who are more in need of one on the train. Always check though – I’ve seen it happen more than once where larger ladies have been mistaken for expectant mothers and the ensuing ‘take my seat / no, thanks / no, I insist’ debate before the person offering the seat realises their mistake and both parties retreat in a cloud of embarrassment.

2.       Bathe, bathe, bathe…

There’s nothing worse than someone’s armpit in your face when you’re trying to commute to work in peace, but unfortunately the Tube makes every morning journey into a demented game of Twister. As uncomfortable as this is, the journey would be made so much easier if showering was made compulsory before entering the train. As one particularly foul-smelling man on the Central line recently proved, it is possible to kill with body odour at less than twenty paces.

3.       Food for thought

Eating on the Tube is for those who have no dignity. It’s like passing wind in public – just don’t do it.

4.       Quiet please!

People playing their music on their mobile phones at full volume at 8am are always a nightmare. As tempting as it is to say ‘no, I don’t want to listen to your dub step / grime / house remix, please switch it off before I throttle you with your earphones’, it is better to have a quiet word and hope that they get off at the next station without trying to stab you.

5.       TubeCrushed

One of the (few) benefits of commuting on the Tube is that you are more than likely to end up travelling alongside some of the most attractive men and women in the capital.

The invention of TubeCrush – the website where you surreptitiously take photos of the most eye-catching men in your carriage and submit them online – means that no good-looking man in London is safe. Don’t make my mistake of trying to sneakily take a picture of the 6”2 George Clooney lookalike standing across the aisle, especially not when your camera makes a surprisingly loud click as you press the ‘capture’ button. There are no hiding places in a busy carriage when there are several pairs of angry eyes staring at you.

Happy travelling!

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