tensions on the tube

This morning was highly unusual for the amount of overt conflict in my tube car. Normally, London is the opposite of New York when it comes to commuting behavior. Even though morning after morning we are packed in like sardines, everyone is still silent and agreeable. We just don’t make eye contact while our private parts basically get to know each other.

But today was different. It’s the freezing cold in London. It’s too much for us. A little island nation is not supposed to get this cold. And then they had shut the gate to the Eastbound track for the Circle and Hammersmith & City lines at my station- a bad sign on overcrowding. I walked to the Metropolitan with the rest of the workaday drones. Already we were all so off our usual sequence of things.

The train came and we stuffed on. Then a man behind me yelled “Who do you think you’re pushing?!” while giving a stranger the deep shoulder. He huffed about and then eventually we were seated next to each other when some seats freed up at Euston. I was laughing inside the whole journey.

Who do you think you’re pushing?!

What does that question even mean? What can a logical response be? Like if the man in question had responded “Oh sorry, I thought you were a pedophile or burglar or racist” then all would have been forgiven?

Who do you think you’re pushing?!

It’s preposterous, really. It doesn’t matter who he thinks he is pushing. You shouldn’t push on the tube. And honestly, he doesn’t think he is pushing anyone in particular. Just the person in his way.

I really couldn’t stop laughing.

And then it was my turn to exit. I tried and then the alighting process came to a halt. Then this happened:

Me (loud voice): EXCUSE ME!

Horrible woman creature in front of me: We’re all trying to get off.

Me: I wasn’t directing that at you but at the people blocking you.

Creature: Well you shouted in my ear.

Me: Oh my god, cry me a river.

I spent the whole walk to my office wishing I had instead said, “I hope you have a terrible day.”

Don’t you hate when your comeback is a millisecond late?



Filed under london, travel

7 responses to “tensions on the tube

  1. sonjey

    Yes, yes, yes….Monday morning quarterback…..What would Bryan have done? Flashback, Bruges!!

  2. i’ m always so pleased with myself when I think of a timely comeback – it gives me a lovely warm fuzzy feeling…perfect for combatting the current climate 😉

  3. Rebecca

    This made me laugh out loud and wake my son up. This is the second time I have done that. Note to self- no reading Yael’s blog while putting my baby to sleep. I can TOTALLY picture you saying “oh cry me a river.” Love it.

  4. friend in london

    Once I saw a 40 year old man push a 15 year old girl off of the tube because she wouldn’t turn her ipod volume down. Can you believe I was the only one to say anything? Shocking.

  5. yael

    I just want you all to know I am still mad at that woman. 3 days later.

  6. The Jerk Store

    I think “cry me a river” is better than “have a terrible day.” But for the future, Justin Timberlake, you can’t go wrong using some derivative of “douchebag.” Works every time.

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