Living in London is quite amusing, you notice little things about commuters which are totally strange little rituals that most people outside the capital just would not understand. For example the majority of people using the underground know which door they can get on the carriage of the train to maximise efficiency so that they arrive at the exit straight in front of them when getting off at the other end.

Amongst other things, the most amusing trait I notice on the underground is the pretend sleepers. People who are sitting down with their eyes closed dead to the world apart from when the train pulls into a station where they spring into life and take note of where they are on their journey. This brings me to the most interesting ritual that I see when using the underground.

As I am working in Covent Garden now it is easy for me to get a tube to Charing Cross and walk the rest of the distance. When I finish work which is usually at 7 or 8 I start the dash for the tube station. The direct train from Marylebone to Harrow leaves at 20:27 and therefore I have 27 minutes to get out of work, do the walk to the station and get a train to Marylebone, this is quite a rush. Apparently half of London have the same idea thus the Marylebone dash.

Arriving at Charing Cross, a quick run down the elevators and I arrive on the platform. Positioning myself on the platform where the door opens to give me the best possibility of getting out. Seems a few other commuters have the same idea and it seems to be the busiest part of the platform even though it’s not close to the entrance!

Cramming on the train is always fun. No-one goes to sit down and everyone is standing near to the doors on the other side of the train. The race is truly on. Nobody talking just waiting and looking at the watch wondering whether the dash is possible. Piccadilly and Oxford Circus pass, the majority of tourists get off the train and the train is left with suited people looking at their watches every minute, with a little sweat coming from their brow. Past Baker Street and action, everybody adjusts their outfits, puts their rucksacks on and crowds the door even more. Pulling into Marylebone station and all hell breaks lose..

RUN, seems to be on the agenda, everybody flooding out of the train and crowding the exit which swiftly climbs some stairs which everyone runs up before reaching the elevator. I don’t think anybody doesn’t run up this elevator and quickly out the gate to the National Rail part of Marylebone station. A quick glance at the board and the time. Ahhhh crap a minute before it leaves, platform 6! The furthest platform. This is the most fun part of the dash. Quickly through the gate and a race, everybody is running for this train. Lives depend on it, exhaustion looming, some would have you believe. Getting on that train just before the door shuts is a great feeling however and the dash is done for another day. I am successful, however will this always be the case!

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