My Sunshiny Life

{March 19, 2010}   Tottenham Court Road

There is a tube culture in London, not surprisingly as most of us spend quite a bit of time underground!  The frequent tannoy announcements can’t help but get embedded into your brain.  Please mind the gap.  There is a good service on all London underground lines (yeah right).  More likely, the District Line has severe delays, the Northern line has signal failure, there is an out of service train stuck in the platform in front folks – we’ll be moving as soon as we can.  We’re currently stuck at a red signal and will be moving shortly.  Please move down inside the carriages.  Please don’t lean against the doors. 

No one looks at each other, ane we all sit there in silence staring at the floor or fully engrossed in the Metro or a paperback.  Kids are most entertaining, as they don’t conform to the strangely oppressive atmosphere and just remain as they would above ground, curious and loud.  It’s only the adults that go through transition from fully functioning, speaking and thinking to tubebots, that must not smile, make eye contact or show any emotion, as soon as they swipe their Oyster card.  In winter it smells like wet wool and it’s fuggy and hot.  In summer it smells like sweat and it’s muggy and hot.  If you’re not a frequent tube traveller then that was a little taste. 

So it’s not often that you have a delightful tube experience, especially as most of us are scurrying around like worker ants in rush hour.  Tonight I discovered a few little treasures tucked away in the grimy underground tunnels. 

I just had to stop and take a video of this busker in Tottenham Court Road station.  I’m not sure how often he’s there as I don’t normally pass through this station.  I have a feeling that he makes quite a bit of money.  I heard a fair few clinks of coins hitting his money stash.

Then, with a smile still lingering, I stood on the platfrom waiting for the train and noticed this billboard advertising the Tate Modern.  I think it’s a fabulous piece of advertising, witty, relevant and long enough to keep you entertained until the train arrives.


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