The plain and strange stay mainly on the train


I moved home last week, which was really fun in the insane heat of last weekend. Hopefully this weekend will be similarly hot and sunny, so we'll get to spend some time on the beach.

My new location means that a large part of my commute is by train. I haven't been doing it long but I have already noticed some differences between trains and tubes. I think the strangest difference is the people who use each kind of transport. There are some types of people you see on trains who rarely appear on the tube, and vice versa.

Most obvious is the lone middle-aged man, who arrives in my carriage part way through the journey, having visited the buffet car. He slides nervously into his seat, clutching his paper bag which contains some overpriced sandwiches and a Coke. He has greasy hair, wispy facial hair, and is wearing a shirt and tie which he has owned for 20 years. And that's not to mention the cardigan.

Grasping his bottle of Coke firmly, he carefully unscrews the cap and replaces it in the bag. Looking anxiously around, and pausing only to push his glasses further up the bridge of his nose, he takes a series of gulps until, his thirst satisfied, a pudgy hand extracts a packet of crisps from the bag. These he proceeds to insert into his mouth by the handful, never quite managing to fit them all in and so having to eat with his mouth open.

It is at this point when I sigh, adjust my position so as to be facing more away from him, bury my nose in my book, and feel thankful that I am getting off at the next stop.

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About this page

This is an entry in Stephen Wettone's weblog, published on 19 June 2003.

Summary of this entry

You can meet an amazing variety of people on trains.

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