Weekly Roundup No. 2

In this week’s edition, things I do on the tube:

1. Read Really Useless Stuff

I often pick up a free copy of The Evening Standard to read on the way home. It doesn’t exactly cover earth-shattering news, but I like reading it to get a sense of the city beat.

In last night’s edition:

Come again? In terms of useless extravagance, it reminds me of the diamond-encrusted car created for Russian millionaires during the worst of the global recession—but even less practical. Insensitive displays of wealth aside, I’d still rather have a diamond-encrusted Mercedes-Benz than a mince pie with a coin in it. At least you can drive the car!… until it gets hijacked.

2. Follow the Beautiful Beacons

I’m all about efficiency. (Nerd alert!) I never walk two sides of a 90-degree angle if there’s a way to cut a hypotenuse across a yard.

So, living in New York, I picked up a habit that can shave between 30 seconds and five minutes from your daily commute, depending on where you get on and off, and whether you need to transfer.

The tip: Figure out where to wait on the subway platform so that when the train pulls up, you stand by the doors that will let you off at the quickest access point to your exit or transfer. Other New Yorkers clearly did this too. There were bizarre days, especially while I lived in Brooklyn, when my commute times matched up with others’ just so, and I would sit across from the same person in the morning, and again in the evening. One of the most memorable times this happened was with a lovely German couple who took turns softly reading their book aloud, huddling together to hear each other.

Here in London, the time-saving tube trick is even more important because there’s often only ONE exit (causing much congestion), and it’s usually on either of the two far ends of the platform. For the first two weeks, I had trouble getting my bearings because I’d be getting on and off the opposite sides of the train going in opposite directions. Basically, my commute felt like a dizzy bat race. (If you don’t know what that is, watch this video—AMAZING.)

 

It took me a few weeks to find my coping mechanism: follow the beautiful women. In a poster for her wedding gown’s exhibit at Buckingham Palace, the Duchess of Cambridge indicates where I should get on to make a quick exit at Holborn station. Willowy Gisele looks on from an Esprit ad as I commute home at the end of the day.

3. Ogle the Men

Just kidding, I don’t do this. But apparently lots of people do, and sneak in some photos besides! Those photos then get uploaded to Tube Crush, where people can rate whether the men are hot or not. Apparently this stalkerishness happens in NYC too.

Well, gentlemen! You’re being watched. Next time you’re on the tube/subway and you see a young lady reaching for her cameraphone, put on a pouty puckerface and see if you make it onto one of these sites!

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