Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Tube at Congestion Time
At that time, we boarded the overground and chugged off to the next check-point. In a compartment that usually comfortably seats everyone, we had to cram into the entrance-exit area along with people reading newspapers, listening to their ipods or feeding their infants in bulky carriages. The rickety journey to London Bridge took the usual eight minutes; tall flats blurring by the windows, the city streets becoming more convoluted and the tourists more numerous. After we disembarked and checked into the Underground, we hit a deadlock of travelers on the several flights of escalators down. We decided to take the faster route, and stepped to the left to descend the electric stairs at a swift pace. The only means of avoiding the mob was to run. However we weren't alone in this idea. Rushing through the Central (Red) Line entry corridor, the five of us came to the embarking platform where a horde of commuters waited for the tube to arrive. A moment later it did. Mind the gap, was announced.
A mad dash ensued. Kevin practically piledrived himself through the crowd, forcing the rest of us to follow and in doing so, we managed to squish ourselves into the back of the car. We were elbow-to-elbow, pressed against the grip poles, the windows or other passengers. I, personally, was between a tall man, Stina and another few university students, with not even an inch of clearance between us. Everyone looked to the floor or the advertisements along the car wall. Anything to avoid each other. It was then we realized Simon was left on the platform and Becca had entered a separate car. The doors were shut, the tube was leaving the platform. Simon would have to get the next train. Squeals, shrieks and squeaks. Our following transfer station arrived and even though we were closest to the doors, it was a struggle to exit. Stina's bag was stuck between a woman and the wall, my foot was tangled with the tall man's shoes and Kevin tripped on his way out.