empty on the inside

It was silent, but my fellow commuters certainly noticed I'd let one drop!

Tonight, on my way home from work, I was fortunate enough to be a witness to one of those small miracles of London living – the holy grail of the rush hour commute – an empty tube train on the Victoria line.

And this wasn’t at the end of the line – this was 5.45pm at Euston!

You could hear the gasp of awe and wonder as it slowed down.  the previous tube had only been going as far as Seven Sisters, and there were ‘minor delays’, so a Walthamstow train hadn’t come along for about 10 minutes.  we all knew how crowded the next Walthamstow tube was going to be.  we’d all mentally squished ourselves, re-arranging our internal organs in order to take up the minimum space possible, eyeing up our ‘competition’ to the left and the right who may try to steal ‘our’ space in oblivion.  But all hail Saint Lou, patron saint of the London Underground (OK, so it was Velvet Underground, but it’s close enough), this was a miracle befitting our daily pilgrimage…a glorious empty space, bereft of hot, tightly-packed sweaty bodies.

We actually smiled at each other as we got on and all gratefully lowered our weary posteriors into the lovely squashy red and blue  upholstery.  People were even speaking to each other…OK, so it was nothing more than “Oh wow, an empty train, that’s amazing!”, “Yes, who would have thought?”…but that’s beside the point.  When we arrived at Highbury & Islington, we all grinned through the windows at the latest dumbstruck travellers, enjoying their looks of awe and glee.  And then we got to Finsbury park, and about 600 people got on, and the spell was broken.

I will always remember that little oasis of calm after my hectic day 🙂


6 thoughts on “empty on the inside

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    1. It does happen, you know. It;s just that most of us have to speak to people all day and (for me) the tube is a wonderful place where I can read my book with no distractions. It’s the only place I tend to read books now, and I need that time 🙂

  1. I remember getting on the Victoria line just after the ‘new’ trains were out and an empty train pulled in at Finsbury Park, you could hear the collective “Oooo’s and Ahhh’s” as people got on and looked around at what a clean carriage looked like.

    I ended up having a conversation all the way to Walthamstow with the girl next to me, mainly discussing why it was people didn’t speak on the tube and when they did it was usually either in a whisper or extra loud.

    1. I do actually talk to people on the tube (I even once met a guy who became my bf whilst on the tube, but that’s another story!) but I never really talk to them on my way to or from work. The only exception is when I bump into people I know (obviously), but even then, I get a little twinge of resentment at having to give them my reading time.

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