Thursday, 2 February 2012

Tube Stories



I am taking the Victoria line quite a lot nowadays. Taking the Tube in London is, in itself, quite an experience. You can see London Underground staff in their blue and grey uniforms everywhere: at the gates, on the platform and if you are lucky, they might have a hat. The whole thing carries an outdated charm. What never ceases to amaze me is the small size of the tunnels, with the trains just fitting inside. Woooosh!
The Victoria Line trains have been upgraded and a brand new Signalling system has been installed, which is great but took a long time to fine-tune. To cut a long story short, the trains still have drivers but the driving is completely automatic, the driver is here in case of an emergency, to open and close the doors, and to communicate with the passengers in case of incidents, which still happens a lot. As a result of the upgrade, trains are much faster and their speed profile is completely optimised. This also means that that they gain speed and brake much more abruptly and the ride is generally less smooth than manually-driven trains. This is obviously because the frequency of trains has increased.
I like to sit at the end of the carriage, right next to the door. It looks more like a bench actually, and you half-stand (or half-sit, depending on how you see it). We were arriving at Victoria station when the train started to brake quite violently due to the automatic driving probably-. The young man standing in front of me -I would say he was in his early 20's- forgot to hold the bar and fell into my arms. To be fair, he almost managed to stop falling when he was one inch from me, but the train gained speed, he lost his balance again and smoothly landed on me. He apologised profusely while I was trying hard not to laugh. Then, just to rub it in, I said "The pleasure was all mine". He blushed -at this point I think that I was laughing. He then quickly exited the train. The whole thing made my day and I couldn't help smiling all the time. So tell me: am I becoming a pathetic old cougar or did he do it on purpose?

46 comments:

  1. I just wonder whether that was really the stop he wanted to exit at or not! lol

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  2. I will never know. I didn't do anything, I was nicely sitting. On the bright side, he didn't correct my bad French accent. That's something, isn't it?

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  3. If ever you visit Mumbai (where I live) this would be a daily occurrence in our city's trains :( And what's more no one would apologize!

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  4. To answer your question you are not a pathetic old cougar - you are a finely tuned cougar with a shiny mane!

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  5. So funny! That is exactly what I would have said.

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  6. Fortunately you were there or he would have finished on the dirty floor of the tube!
    I think he did not expect this to happen or was maybe under the spell of your charm.............no kidding.

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  7. I need to go to Mumbai! Would love that! It wasn't during the peak hour...so it is a bit unusual!

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  8. Thanks, Dathaic, it looks like you got me spot on here!

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  9. Thank you! I am glad that you understand!

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  10. I am sure he was...I am really, really glad because I embarrassed a 20-something-year-old british guy. How cool is this?

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  11. Muriel, you are using French cougar charm on Brits! So funny, wish I had the wits to react this way in the same situation. With my luck it is a pram being pushed into my shins.

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  12. What a great comment even if it embarrassed the young man. I suspect that the sudden brakes - and there will be many - will lead to more such incidents of people falling, with not as funny results.

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  13. Oh, the French Cougar is in town ;) Use your charms; and see the 20 something Brit crowds go crazy ;)

    But he apologized... so there is a gentleman there! :)

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  14. I lived in Mumbai when I was young... people are just too busy there! Just too busy and very occupied!

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  15. Close encounters on the Victoria Line!

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  16. lol love it Muriel! Love that you had the presence of mind to make such a great comment ;)

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  17. And, where were your feet when he finally lost his balance? Tripping him up, I'm sure :-)

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  18. Marie from Rock The Kasbah2 February 2012 22:40

    Raaaaawwwwwwrrrrrrrr! Just kidding.

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  19. Love the fact you said what you did and HE blushed. Go get 'em, Muriel!

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  20. Elizabeth Young3 February 2012 14:15

    I think it was probably just an accident, but kudos to you for handling it so beautifully! I love the subway in Toronto, one can travel so far on so little and with ease.

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  21. I love subways too. So much that I am actually a Railways Engineer. And I am always surprised to see what can happen in subways!

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  22. Thank you Stuart! I have to admit that I am quite pleased with myself! Maybe it has got something to do with ageing!

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  23. Thank you! I am not sure what went into me. Must be the hormones!

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  24. So that's what I'm doing wrong; I gotta ride the trains to get a man to fall into my lap! ;p I loved the way you handled the situation. Great story; thanks for taking us for a trip through the London tubes.

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  25. You are welcome! That said, I think that I got lucky. all my trips are not as interesting as this one!

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  26. You are just jealous! You see, as I am not getting any younger, I am enjoying such moments a lt more than before...

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  27. Absolutely not. Not Guilty. For once (...) I didn't do anything wrong. Anything at all. What makes you say that?

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  28. Thank you. To be honest I don't know what went into me! Maybe I should go to the doctor!

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  29. Very close! On which line do you live?

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  30. The whole thing made me really happy. What is wrong with me? You are right, I am becoming a French cougar. Life is tough!

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  31. Maybe...that said, I sincerely hope that it will happen to me again. i was simply...nice. And as I used to work for the Underground, I don't get as surprised as passengers...

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  32. To be fair barbara, it was really a first. I normally am quite shy in public and I don't know what happened to me. Maybe it has something do do with my hormones...

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  33. That said, I would love to go to Mumbai for a little whie (Tube or no Tube). I fell in love with India when I went to Rajahstan a few years ago. I can't wait to go back.

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  34. sadly I have not being to Rajasthan! :(

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  35. All we ladies want is a little bit of attention... don't we ? ;)

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  36. I admire your gutsy response! Dang, I wish I could do that! :-)

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  37. Hehehehe you naughty cheeky woman!

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  38. I know! What went into me?

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  39. Again Joyce, I am not normally like this. But for once, I got it right.

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  40. Wow, thanks for the vicarious thrill, Muriel! : D Don't you just love the power we have at this age?

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  41. Wow! Great wit and guts to say it!

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  42. I know! I love it! I wouldn't have dared to say anything if I had been younger. Life is good.

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  43. Thank you! I am usually quite shy, so I really don't know what went into me!

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  44. Thanks. maybe it comes with getting older: I am more confident!

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