The London Tube may be the world’s oldest underground railway, but it is clean, convenient, brightly coloured [that’s important], prompt, and well, I think it’s fun. I feel like a member of London, with my [limited edition Olympics print] Oyster card (shown here). Swipe this card and you can get anywhere in central London, pretty much, and pretty quickly.
Entering each station is like flipping through a magazine, with the escalators and tunnel-y corridors lined with posters – invitations to London’s latest theatre, exhibits, films. Mixed in, of course, with Transport posters looking out for us, reminding us to Mind the Gap. This phrase, along with the Keep Britain Tidy that pops up on Barclays cashpoints and the Sorry, Bus Full on the Oxford Tube, is the epitome of British English. It’s adorably wise. Keep Calm and Carry On.
I’m starting to memorise the Lines, helped along by – again – bright colours, and funky names. Piccadilly, Bakerloo, Jubilee – they sounded funny and fantastical at first, but are now part of my rush-about vocabulary. The claustrophobic piling in, inevitable at a stop like Oxford Circus, only makes me appreciate my out-of-the-way home base, where I’m guaranteed a seat before I depart.
P.S. Last week’s Micro-Pleasure: Magic in Seattle