Commuter Health

David Cameron isn’t a fan of the European Union, Britain’s weather is unpredictable and being manager of Chelsea is a thankless task. One thing I’ve noticed more than any other, having spent a semester commuting is the British public’s head shaking. No gesture screams disapproval more than a vigorous shake of the head. Next time the station announcer informs you of a delay just take a look down the platform and witness Britain’s version of the Mexican Wave.

Normally it’s hilarious to watch tens of waiting passengers shaking furiously like a line of Churchill Insurance dogs. Even more entertaining is the eye contact with fellow commuters seeking approval of their disapproval.

To my great amusement I found myself standing at Edinburgh Waverly station shaking my head. The British are apparently notoriously good at queuing. Well the 17.43 to Inverness is quite different. Crowds of men and women huddle around the six carriage doorways twenty-five minutes before departure to get on to the train first. Surely it’s not always like this? Incidentally I normally get the earlier train – which isn’t much different. When the yellow button flashed ‘I’m open’ it didn’t take a second invite to slow the rabble that unfolded. Stampede at the Next sale; free-for-all to end all free-for-alls. Jackets and luggage sprawled across tables and seats. From a surprising early arrival I’m overwhelmed with the fight to secure a seat. I dived into the first free seat I spotted, put the headphones on and continued to shake my head vigorously.

Late public transport is a health and safety hazard!


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