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Signal failure

December 5, 2012

If i could sit down right now, i would write this post. Wait, thanks to the buffer of tightly packed bodies, i can actually stand without holding on to a sticky pole. And thus write! (Though the 45 people involuntarily huddled up behind me are most likely reading along). This is the london tube. This is ‘signal failure’. Though no such explanation, or official excuse of any kind, has been offered for the extraordinarily cramped conditions this morning. My phone tells me that ‘good service is in operation’. Im sorry, i think we may need to redefine ‘good’ in this context…..
The priority seats, regularly reserved for those less able to stand, are shamelessly occupied by able bodied youngsters shielded by headphones and absorbed by their smartphones to avoid noticing the pregnant and senior passengers hovering nearby.
Normal tube luck may involve finding an empty seat. Under current conditions, luck first and foremost involves successfully shoving yourself into the train, and secondly anchoring yourself to a grubby handrail. Long arms usually come in handy here, but today i am swaying along unsecured and relying on the stability offered by limited personal space. Going with the flow, one might say, or performing a vertical crowd surf may be a more aporopropriate description. The only positive reflection i can extract from this experience is that the remaining challenges of the day will appear relatively minor!

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