London Now I’m Not There

May 12, 2009

This has been inspired mainly by Thorsten’s post on the HPLL blog about his morning bus journey (on which I originally wrote this post as a comment), but it also ties in to some nostalgia from now being away from London for 7 months. Because amongst many things I miss of London, one non-person thing is, bizarrely, the Tube. I didn’t actually use it all that often in the last couple of years before I left but for some time, particularly when I lived over in Barnes, Hammersmith, I relied heavily on the Tube for getting to work in Old Street.

Despite being horrendously overpriced, I have quite an affection for the London Underground. I think because its so old: running on WWII technology and how it floods in heavy rain. Its so amazing that various parts of it were used as a huge bomb shelter in the wars. I’m forever impressed by the complicated yet grand, iconic status of the Tube map. I even love the strangely muted acrid stench underground, the mild claustrophobia, the dirt, the mice on the tracks, the sense of Victorian ghosts wandering silently about. I love that wild howl the trains make in the tunnels and the fact that some of them bounce about like old roller coasters. I can very easily remember the taste of the hot air rushing in through an open window in summer. There is no feeling quite like being alone on an underground platform late at night. But mostly I love the fact that being down underneath the Big Smoke reminds me of everything above it and all the experiences I have had there, and will again!’s

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