Raise your hand if you’ve been personally victimized by the Tube

(London, how to survive it — by Carolina P. Bresuti)

Some time ago I accepted a weird challenge: “Do notcomplain for 24 hs”. I failed, of course.

Why do I tell you this? Because I will introduce myself with a complaint-post (yaaay! that’s me!).

Four months ago I moved to London from a very (veeeeery) small town. Before that, I didn’t realize how much the public transport was necessary. When you live in such a small place as my hometown, you don’t really NEED it. You can choose, if you feel a little lazy, to take a bus. If sometimes you party hard, you can always take a taxi (for an affordable amount). If not, you can always walk. Everything is a maximum of half an hour far from where you are.

It was when I arrived in London, when I understood that you don’t have that chance here. In London, you NEED it. Your best friend will be an Oyster card and your lover will be the TFL website.

You use it for everything: for work, to go out, to go to the supermarket, the airport… and after some time, you realize how (damn) big this city is. You will probably complain about how slow the buses are, the traffic and stuff. But for sure the tube is way too expensive. But as I said, you NEED it.

So what happens when one day you discover there’ll be a Tube strike?(YES, CLOSED, WITHOUT MINIMUM SERVICES). Ok, no problem. I’ll leave home earlier and take the bus, not a big deal.

Yeah you smart little mosquito. You and the other 8 million Londoners thought the same thing. Oh and the tourists too!

So you go to work, at an off peak time (I seat on the bus, not that bad!), and then when you finish work and after a long day you are desperate to go back home, you see that two of your buses haven’t stopped because they were full. And after half an hour waiting in Piccadilly Circus you think, “there’s no way to go back home” (insert crying emoji face here).

So after what it seems a long and thoughtful moment standing there, like a hopeless idiot, you had the most brilliant idea you ever had. “I’m going back walking!”. Must say that living in Zone 2, it wasn’t such a CRAZY idea. So I started my way back home thinking I could always catch the bus anytime (I walked for nearly 2 hours…).

Honestly I don’t remember I have ever walked that much in my life. But I’m quite proud to say I did it. I DID IT!

Anyway, what you get from all of this: London isn’t big, it is HUGE. Believe me, it’s bigger than you imagine. If you’re coming to London, please use the Tube, and be nice to all the staff. If not, they’ll do more strikes that will bother (yes, I’m being soft), a lot of citizens, including me.

And to TFL, please don’t do that again. You, out of anyone, knows that London and a Tube strike are 100% incompatible.

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