’14 Thoughts We Have When Travelling Solo’, my first online article, was published on scotcampus.com on 19th February 2015
Suffer from train rage EVERY SINGLE DAY? Here are just 14 standard thoughts that probably pass through you head on a daily basis…
“Acquaintances become avoidances”
You’re a uni student now. You’ve made a fantastic group of friends who share your interests in poetry, Gaelic football AND Pokemon cards. They don’t know that you didn’t really win “Best Looking” in the yearbook six years in a row, but wee Jimmy from Higher Maths does. And hey, isn’t that him boarding the same train as you? Better hide, mate. You left your school persona behind you when you abandoned the SQA.
“Can I get a half, please?”
Just celebrated your 15th? Tall for your age? Then naw, pal. So, put that Young Scot card away.
“Rush-hour Temple Run.”
Here comes the train conductor pushing through the zoo like he owns the place – ticket printer above everyone’s’ heads as he acknowledges orange striped cards being flashed. He’s intent on charging a gentleman that’s clambering to the exit throwing him money and yelling over his shoulder to ‘keep the change’. The doors are bleeping to signal the train’s departure from his stop, but it’s cool, I love being elbowed in the gut.
“Eye contact? No thanks.”
Sometimes people are fixed so intently upon their phone screens you’d be forgiven for thinking they’d just received a cheeky wee birthday text from Jesus.
“People are douches.”
This is silently conveyed through people’s slumped posture, impatience at the ticket barriers and the looks they shoot you when you’re stationary on left hand side of the escalator. And what happens when so many people are convinced that their daily purpose is the most important of all? I hope your breath isn’t bated in anticipation of a hilarious punchline to that set-up, because: CARNAGE. That’s what happens.
“People ooze passion.”
You may have had a perfectly regular day getting lunch and shopping, but somewhere in town, Edinburgh were playing Glasgow in an old-firm style haggis hurling match – the supporters of which are relying upon your train for transport to the game and home to the local pub. Did you even know Edinburgh had a haggis hurling team? Doesn’t matter, you’re a fan for the next half hour. So come on, let’s see your best Mexican wave – go team!
“It’s not you, it’s me.”
Using London’s underground last summer encouraged me to start evaluating my own energy in public. I decided to walk slower with my earphones out and I realised that rushing around was merely banking me about three extra minutes. If that’s all takes to make you late for your first lecture, chances are you slept in and it was inevitable. Why don’t you go to bed earlier and save us looking at your burrowed forehead first thing?
“I don’t care for conductors”
Remember that burning hatred of the postman on ‘results day’? Well, everyone hates the ticket conductor every day. And it seems as though this may have taken its toll on the florescent vest wearers at Argyle Street Station.
“I hate all humans”
There will be long, cramped journeys spent next to the train doors, meaning you have to step off every five minutes to release the masses from the carriage. You see the sheer volume of people who escape at each stop, and yet, you will still fail to locate a seat when you step back on.
“But I still love me”
The next time your train is cancelled, find it within yourself to forgive the impatient after-work shopper whom you’ll be evil-eyeing for a seat. Yes, the one with 15 shopping bags that take up ALL SPACE. Pity those for not having it within themselves to be considerate travellers and pride yourself in knowing that you’d give up your seat if you had to. Because you would…wouldn’t you?