If you commute into or around London every day, chances are you’ll know your fellow passengers very well indeed.
Maybe not by name, but most likely by sight, and occasionally by your own silently given moniker – “sunglasses girl”, “loud phone woman”, or, “that bloke you thought was hot until he repeatedly picked his nose and ate it on the platform at Baker Street the other day” (true story. Nothing breaks the heart and turns the stomach like seeing a good looking boy having a bogey breakfast on the Bakerloo Line. Sad face.)
But for the most part, you’ll recognise certain commuters because every station, carriage and tube line has their own version. Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce you to…
1. The Wacky Racers
Recognise them by: the nervous sideways glance they’ll give you as you as the tube pulls into the platform. These commuters aren’t in a rush for any reason, they’re just on a one-man mission to be the first person off the tube. After sizing up their competitors, they’re up and standing by the doors before the next stop is even announced, ready to run. This ain’t a commute sunshine, it’s a goddamn race.
2. The Newspaper Nuisance
Recognise them by: the tutting, shuffling, perturbed gang of commuters on either side. There’s barely room to swing an Oyster Card in the crush, but that doesn’t stop this space invader from bringing the FT, Daily Telegraph or worse still, The Daily Mail (what it loses in size, it makes up for with offensive headlines) onto the busy tube and reading it at full spread. When it comes to newspapers, less is more. Fold it in half or face the silent wrath – and occasional elbow – of your neighbouring passengers.