Ok commuter?

Posted by Dom

I’ve recently moved house, an experience which was remarkably stress-free considering how painful it could have been. One thing that I’m still getting my head around is the change in my daily journey to work, however. Instead of a brief couple of journeys from Kingston to the MSN offices in Victoria, I now have a much longer, but direct train from the teeny station at West Sutton.

Sitting down for any long journey gives you a great opportunity to people-spot, and observe how different characters deal with the often soul-destroying hassles and complications of even the most simple commute to work in the morning.

Some people just stare blankly into space, lost in a world of thought, tiredness or boredom. Others let the whole carriage share in their dodgy music taste by putting their iPod on at full blast (I always thought that perhaps one of the biggest indications of getting old is complaining about people’s music being too loud, and now I’m doing it myself. Yikes).

Many people, of course, TALK ON THE PHONE REALLY LOUDLY, just so everyone can fully grasp how earth-shatteringly important and busy their lives are…

 

Dom Joly in Trigger Happy TV

I used to barely have the energy or the time to do anything but glance at the Metro, but my new longer ride now allows me both to catch up on the mountain of books I have to read (I’m currently enjoying Tom Sykes’ entertaining tale of alcoholic journalistic excess, What Did I Do Last Night?), or simply just relax by playing a couple of the brilliant new games out for the Nintendo DS (current fave: Space Invaders Deluxe. With headphones in, of course!).

Despite the irritants of the train, many more people are now choosing it over the car as their preferred way to get into work. The absurdly high cost of train fares is an unfortunate drawback, although if you keep your eyes open there are still some opportunities around to get money-off deals – for instance, you can enter our free draw to win your commuting costs paid for and hope you strike it lucky.

What do you do to pass the time on the way in to work, and what are your pet peeves about fellow passenger behaviour?

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16 Responses to Ok commuter?

  1. Unknown says:

    I used to love my train commute to work – I saw the same people every day and my journey was taken up with imagining who they were and where they were going. Occasionally I\’d walk past them in town and be on the verge of smiling and saying hello, before I realised that I didn\’t actually know them. Now my commute consists of the car unfortunately – so I tune out to the world outside (obviously not to the other cars on the road of course…) and wake myself up to the day with music. Current listening: Flight of the Conchords.

  2. Francis says:

    Please don\’t start the old North versus South business again.
    I\’m a Lancashire lad with no particular axe to grind.

  3. Jamie says:

    I spend my 1-hour cummute into Waterloo listening to podcasts on my Zune. Doesn\’t half help to pass the time.

  4. Helen says:

    I occasionnaly frequent the quiet zone, and chuckle everytime when mobile phones and loud music is banned, but people can talk and children can cry loader than any mobile or ipod sometimes!

  5. James says:

    Mobile phones should just be banned outright on the train. They are the single most annoying thing on the train and drive me round the frigging twist. 99% of commuters seemed to have them welded to their ears, are on them from the secodn they step on the second they step off, and I swear I once saw someone talking on one whilst texting on a SECOND ONE! That\’s just taking the mickey.Seriously, most of the time the conversation goes something like: \’Hi, I\’m on the train… I\’m on the train… what? What? Yeah? I\’ll be back soon… I said I\’ll be back soon. You had a good day? I said, you had a good day? You had a good day? What?\’ and so on.If you\’re going to be back soon, why are you phoning them every day to let them know this? Do people have memories like goldfish nowadays? As far as I\’m concerned, unless it\’s an absolute emergency, like the train\’s on fire or you\’re being abducted by aliens, then surely these conversations can wait until they get home?I just hate the things. Rant over.

  6. Unknown says:

    i quickly read the metro as i wait for my train, once on my 1st train i sit and play sudoko (can never complete the hardest one!!) for the half hour journey. then once on the central line i play my ipod so no one else can hear it but me (which isnt expected of an 18yr old) thats for the next 25min then vice versa on the way home 🙂 xx

  7. Chris says:

    Used with consideration I have no problem with mobile phones… not compared to the ear splitting shrieks some children seem capable of.
     
    I normally spend my time working – no rest for the wicked :>
     
     

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