Ranty Friday – The Commuter Edition
So as you know, our car was admitted in for emergency replacement gearbox surgery last week.
The procedure is not as simple, or as reasonably priced, as we had hoped it would be and we have been without a car for over a week now.
Apart from the obvious expense this has given us in terms of new parts and labour, it has also meant that I have had to commute to work by public transport.
For over a week.
I have to say, I really do not know how people do it.
After dropping Zachy off at nursery in a cab (taxis can be classed as public transport too…) so begins the hellish journey to my office.
Unless you have a weekly travel card, you have to pay for each leg of your journey separately. That’s £2 for the bus to the station, £2.30 for the train to Victoria and then £4.30 for the tube. £8.60 ONE WAY to get to work. £17.20 if you want to get home as well, plus £8 on the taxi to the nursery.
It goes down a bit if you have an Oyster card, which I do now. But, only if you remember to touch in and out at every station… I did not know this.
I am sure there are signs up all over the station walls, but being crammed in a station with hundreds of thousands of other commuters at 8am on a Tuesday morning means that I am not best placed to see them.
So as our car mechanic is not giving us much confidence that our car will be returned to us any time soon, I have now purchased a weekly travel card for the bargain price of £34.20.
For my money, I get the privilege of standing with my nose pressed up against a dirty tube window for 20-minutes. The other option is to turn around and rest it in a stranger’s sweaty armpit.
To my right, a man is breathing last night’s beer fumes into my face and to my left, a woman with a stinking cold is coughing and spluttering all over my coat.
My once cream coat now sports black tide marks where it has brushed up against tube doors and walls in the rush to get on. So, I can add a dry cleaning bill to the total cost of my commute this week.
It seems once off the train there is a push to be first through the ticket gates. If you are not quick enough to insert your ticket into the machine, or touch out your Oyster card, then you can bet the person behind you will have already inserted theirs and you will have to step aside to let them go through first.
Forget getting a seat. Even if you are pregnant. I saw someone offer their seat to a heavily pregnant woman, who gratefully accepted but before she could even manoeuvre her way into it, she was rudely shoved to one side by a man with ‘a bad back’ who insisted he needed the seat more.
Listen mate, you do not know what having a bad back is until you have carried an 8lb baby and 2-stone of extra weight around your middle for 9-months.
If the entrance to the tube station happens to be closed due to overcrowding on the platform (everyday), you can expect to be herded into a mosh pit for passengers. All trying to inch forward, all jabbing you in the back with their umbrellas or iPhones and all complaining loudly about how late they are going to be for work.
Finally, to the American family who asked me how to correctly pronounce ‘Putney’ and then squealed with delight at my ‘cute’ accent for the next 6 stops, that was really fun. We should do that again sometime.
This is a post for Ranty Friday. Click over to Mummy Barrow’s blog for more rants.
What’s got you all ranty this week?
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featured image courtesy of telegraph.co.uk