Things have been fairly busy since I arrived back in London 10 days ago. Mostly my time has been taken up with my new job (which is going really well!) and catching up with friends (which has been great fun but exhausting).
What I thought I’d do over the next week or so is show you some snapshots from my London adventures so far.
The London Transport System
The day after I landed, I went straight in to my first day at my new job. That involved getting to grips with the London transport system again and it’s been interesting to come back to it after such a long time away. Londoners like to complain about their transport system (I remember I always did). You know the kind of thing – it’s expensive, it’s overcrowded, there are too many cancellations, the trains are late. Basically all the things that everyone back in Rio says.
But having been away for so long I can see how amazingly modern and fast everything is. Sure, the underground (metro) is a bit creaky in places. And sure it gets hot as hell in summer. But it moves a huge number of people around each day and the overland trains I’ve been taking have been really fast and comfortable.
For those of you who haven’t been to London, this is what our ‘overland’ trains look like. Somewhere between a metro and a mainline train, these look pretty fancy to my Rio eyes.
The thing I find worst/hardest about the London transport system is the unwritten rule that says speaking is not allowed. I find it really uncomfortable to be stood amongst dozens of other commuters in what feels like a mass awkward silence. It’s like everyone has unexpectedly found themselves sitting next to ‘that girl/guy’ that they ‘met’ that time at the Christmas party… It’s a far cry from hurtling around Rio in a bus crammed with chattering Cariocas!
Happily not everyone let’s the up-tight atmosphere get to them. A few days ago, the silence of the train was utterly shattered by the snoring of this rather rotund fellow:
Remember that time I risked life and limb to video that girl twirling her hair on the bus for you guys? Well I reckon this was at least as much of a dangerous mission. This dude was snoring really loudly, so I decided to grab a bit of footage. You can only really hear one snore (about 2/3 of the way through), but I was petrified he was going to wake up…
I know, it’s hardly war reporting is it? But if that guy had woken up it would have been a pretty tricky situation don’t you think? More soon!