You’ve heard the stories, you’ve planned your adventure, but nothing can quite get you prepared to survive a tube journey in London.
Before you get all clammy and worried, there is no zombie-style apocalypse holding tube-goers to ransom… well, not unless you spot me on the tube before 8 am, but there are definitely ways to survive and not survive on our wobbly web of tunnels that are buried underneath our glorious city!
1.) Keep To The Right To Avoid A Painful Death
Londoners hold a deep and ingrained loathing for anyone that stands on the left while taking the ‘tube’.
Yes, they may ask you politely to move to the right in a quintessentially British voice, but I assure you, the flick of their hair or glazed over eyes will surely note the mistake you’ve made. Furious crumpet throwing won’t even come close to showing you the problems you’ll have caused! 😉
2.) Londoner’s Fear M&M World Bags
There seems to be a rumour that every tourist goes to M&M World in Leicester Square…who knew? 😉 Londoners are famed for avoiding this joint (even though I’ve been multiple times and enjoy a little gander inside).
If you’ve managed to buy your weight in M&M’s make sure to keep your bag away from prying Londoners – not only because they will gobble their way through your relatively expensive chocolate stash – but because bags are the enemy of tube-goers across the network.
Pesky Londoners are a sensitive bunch. A slight graze from a cardboard bag edge, or worse a glitter related injuries from your packaging inside and tubers will lose their marbles.
3. Londoners Love Taylor Swift
However hard you try communication on the tube is a total faux pas, it just won’t happen! Londoners are a notoriously silent bunch. I’m going to tell you one embarrassing real-life account that happened to me recently – which reaffirms my point…
…Nobody knows this, but I have a deep and meaningful love of Taylor Swift’s musical talents! I was playing the living legend’s, “Trouble” song on my earphones but it seemed awfully quiet, so I turned it up to full blast, pumping those luscious beats into my all signing and dancing head.
I kept the song on repeat for the whole 18 minutes of my journey – only to realise at my stop that my headphones hadn’t plugged in fully and the whole carriage was listening to Taylor Swift on repeat.
I must have looked epically cool as not one person told me or indeed alerted me to my social faux pas! Either that or they all just loved Taylor as much as I do! (I suspect it’s very much the latter!)
4.) Let Those Workers Off The Train Before You Get On
After all, who will keep our economy flowing! 🙂 I swear, Londoners have created a very special place in hell for visitors that don’t let passengers off the tube carriage before entering. It’s a faux pas that regularly causes many Londoners to lose their British decorum and pipe up about the travesty you have made!
5.) Be ‘Shellfish’ With Your Tube Costs
Yes, you can pay with contactless or Apple Pay on the Tube – but where is the fun in that??? J Grab yourself a truly priceless piece of London’s history with a £5 (deposit) Oyster Card.
These bad boys are available from most Transport Of London (TFL) stations – on your return home, you can even wave the said card in the face of others… proving your survival of the most challenging of London tasks!
6.) Alcohol Is Not Permitted: Unless It’s un-Classy
Okay, that’s a downright lie! Unless it’s in a Coke bottle and hidden of-course! It seems that all classy Londoners have a little ‘prink’ (Pre-drink) before heading out with friends.
I’m not saying I do this at all *cough* but some people have been known to sneak some contraband alcohol for their journey to a house party, club night or music venue.
Maybe the tube network fears another gin crisis.
7.) Eye Candy Woes
It’s true; most Londoners have forgotten to use their eyes! It’s safe to not expect any form of eye contact, eye movement or even eye twitching on the tube. Each Londoner seems to have the very unique way of avoiding eye contact; Candy Crush, Tube Maps, TimeOut Magazine or focusing upon that M&M bag that just walloped them on the way in.
If you do receive eye contact… don’t panic, it’s likely a total mistake that is rectified by quickly glancing at any advertorial on the carriage. You may want to question your judgment if the eye contact lingers.
I have heard (on good authority) that the tube can be like real-life Tinder at peak times.