18 July 2007
Londoners keep yapping on about how vile public transport is but really it’s totally easy to get a seat during rush hour. I just wear a muslim burkha every morning and combined with my Friends Re-Ignited duffel bag it’s enough to not only make sure I get a seat – heck the whole fucking carriage empties out.
Occupying a deserted carriage saves me from having to squeeze between men in suits who have their legs splayed open at a 90 degree angle as if they have chosen the Underground as a great place to give birth. Ladies never sit with their legs wide apart taking up more room than their ticket entitles them to. Men: SHUT YOUR LEGS.
Sitting in an empty carriage of course entitles me to do exactly the fuck what I want with the train windows. Train window etiquette is such a political minefield for British commuters I am very surprised that transport authorities haven’t hired an overpaid psychiatrist like me to write an illustrated leaflet in 123 languages on how we should all overcome Window Anxiety.
The social embarrassment of wanting to open a window but being too nervous to do so in case you piss off the whole carriage may seem trite to foreign folk, but for British people it's even more complex than trying to figure out whether anal beads should be inserted waxy knot up or down.
Our discomfort is palpable if we want to open a shut window – what if it pisses off your fellow travellers who might like inhaling AIDS infected stale air? Even worse – what if we pluck up the guts to open the stupid window only to have someone jump on at the next stop and shut it? Fuck. In this situation a British person has no other option to get off at the next stop and wait for the next train. The only time you can get away with this gaffe is if you are pregnant – standing pregnant ladies are always invisible to others on packed trains.
Broken windows are worse still – it is very difficult to retain your dignity if you attempt to open a window only to find it is stuck. The only option here is for you to accept the Commuter-Walk-of-Shame at the next stop AND take an alternative route home for at least the next 6 months in case someone recognises you. Even then you need to at least change your hairstyle to disguise yourself before you try you regular route.
Of course as a burka wearer I can open a window whenever I fucking want. I might be silently hated for doing so but at least I’m not driving a burning car into an airport.