Packed in like sardines on London’s underground

Opinion

If you’re claustrophobic or dislike confined areas the following content may render you slightly squeamish. If you’re a Londoner, however, this kind of commute to work, unless you’re one of the highfalutin lucky ones, is commonplace.

People, like rats in a cellar, rush around with indiscriminate abandon and have little consideration for fellow commuters. It’s not a friendly place, nor does it offer safe sanctuary for the timid.

All bets are off once the train doors slide open. Competition is fierce for the one or two available seats and battles are waged to earn a sliver of space to stand.

Smiles are as uncommon as a truthful politician and a there is a chance you may find yourself next to someone emitting a pungent, unpleasant odour which, no matter how hard you try, there is no escape from. You can only hope he or she is disembarking at the next stop.

But for all of its commuting flaws, this is London and, other than the sweaty, rancid-smelling passenger with whom you are forced to share your personal space, I wouldn’t change it for the world.

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