|What I Learnt About Public Transport Today
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
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The London Underground union went on strike at 7 PM last night. Rather than stress myself out about potential travel chaos, I decided to make the unavailability of the Tube into an experiment.
I took the bus from my house to Hammersmith, as usual, but the traffic started to get very bad on the approach to Hammersmith Bridge, so I hopped off early. I walked past the station and up onto Hammersmith Road, where I saw many wonderful things.
I saw groups of suited men standing quietly at bus stops which are normally deserted because everyone normally hops on the Tube at that point. I listened to the conversations of pairs of office workers cheerily complaining about the change in the weather. I saw teenage girls bopping to the music from their iPods. I was passed by a woman in her 50s pushing herself gleefully along on a scooter with pink handles and Hello Kitty decals on the wheels. I saw commuters wobbling uncertainly on bikes that had clearly been sitting in the garage for months. I watched the crowds swell, but continue to flow smoothly as I got closer to Kensington.
I checked my watch when I arrived at my office door and discovered that my commute had taken only 10 minutes longer than it normally does.
Today, Londoners kept calm and carried on. And I was damn proud to be one of them.