Panda's guide to etiquette on the London Underground

Category: , , , By panda_eyed
Having had a number of annoying and bizarre experiences on the underground, I thought I'd write my own guide to etiquette. Please follow diligently!

  • If you're reading a newspaper or a magazine, don't get all huffy if I read over your shoulder - it doesn't cost you anything.
  • Similarly, don't offer to share your paper - that's just creepy.
  • Don't sit on the edge of the bench - I don't want to have to climb over you to get to the free seat.
  • Luggage - unless you bought that Samsonite a ticket, keep it off the seats and out of my leg space.
  • Men, it won't compromise your reproductive health to sit with your legs less than half a mile apart.
  • Ladies, sitting with your legs crossed over is fine, but get your damn shoe off my knee!
  • Don't play your music over the loudspeaker. You don't look cool, and just exposes your crappy taste in music. Same with earphones - turn that shit down.
  • If you attempt to talk to me and I don't immediately engage you in sparkling, animated conversation - it's because I want you to LEAVE ME THE HELL ALONE, jackass. Honestly. I'm not just playing hard to get.
  • If you must talk on the phone, do it quietly. I don't need to hear about what Wendy said to Eileen or what time your leg wax is.
  • If you have halitosis, keep your damn mouth shut! Don't be yawning or sighing loudly.
  • When I fall asleep, don't wake me up asking if I want to rest my head on your shoulder.
  • When I decline, don't then start speculating out loud about what I could have been up to last night to cause this tiredness. Freak.
  • Keep tissues handy. Especially if you have a cold. I'd buy a dog if I wanted to hear constant sniffing. The same goes for coughers/sneezers - I don't need to catch that shit.
  • Don't pretend to be asleep, then sneak a hand over and grope my shirt-potatoes. I have breasts, but I'm not stupid.
  • Don't start getting out of your seat before the train stops. You'll only fall heavily into my lap when it brakes. And I happen to like the fragile little bones in my feet.
  • Don't stare continuously and unblinkingly, and in particular, don't say "You have blowjob lips!", get up off the train, and run around the platform screaming it. No one ever won the hand of fair maiden that way.
  • Don't eat. I don't need you dropping crumbs all over my lap, no do I need to sit on your old banana skin or apple core. If you must eat, keep your damn mouth closed.
  • Women applying make up/nail varnish on the train - go right ahead, we could all use the amusement when the train suddenly brakes or goes over a bump.
  • Give a lady some goddamn personal space, goddammit! Organs need room to function.
  • Don't be rubbing your leg up on me either, lest you reeeally want my stilletto down your oesophagus.
  • Keep your wet umbrellas AWAY from my legs. A 'sorry' ain't gonna get the water out of my trousers.
  • Public displays of affection - a peck on the lips is fine, but save the rest for your bedroom. If I wanted soft porn, I'd download it.
  • Eager beavers jostling to get on the carriage first. Ngh. Just, ngh.
  • People with body odour - if you're not going to wash, don't strap-hang. Keep elbows below shoulder height and armpits AWAY from my face.
  • Farting. Goes without saying - the hazardous gases of your colon; confined space. Doesn't take a genius. If you can hold it in, please do.

Does anyone have anything else to add?


14 comments so far.

  1. pink jellybaby 12:16 pm, May 21, 2007
    i think you did pretty well there! i'm sure there are other things bout you've more or less covered the basics i think!


  2. Olivia 1:26 pm, May 21, 2007
    LOL armpit odour - don't strap-hang, that was so funny my eyes are watering coz I can't laugh out loud!

    My gosh, did ppl really offer their shoulder to let you sleep, or grope your shirt potatoes?

    I can't stand it either when people with halitosis sit downwind on the tube and then sigh a lot, or yawn, or breathe with their mouth open. You end up getting a steady stream of it...

    I hate it when people sigh and it ends up going down MY neck, giving me goosebumps and feeling slightly violated that a stranger has breathed where only a lover should.
  3. panda_eyed 2:09 pm, May 21, 2007
    Jelly, I can't take the credit for 'shirt-potatoes' as I stole the word from Nags! I think I have a pretty concise guide there though! x

    Livs, everything mentioned in the guide has really happened. The shirt-potatoes guy pretended it was an accident. Sleep groping.. Only on the London Underground, eh?!

    I also forgot to include the time when one guys took it upon himself to cross the entire carriage without touching the floor or the seats on the Met line and almost broke his own neck. Bizarre.
  4. nikkipolani 5:04 pm, May 21, 2007
    I will stop whining now about inching along on the highway this morning!
  5. panda_eyed 5:31 pm, May 21, 2007
    Lol Nikki. You can whine away, all travel-related whining is allowed here, hehe :)
  6. Flighty 6:32 pm, May 21, 2007
    I'm really glad that I don't have to travel on the tube any more, especially in the rush hours or hot weather!
  7. Boso 8:26 pm, May 21, 2007
    "When I fall asleep, don't wake me up asking if I want to rest my head on your shoulder."

    Seriously? That is just too funny......
  8. Elaine 11:27 pm, May 21, 2007
    LOL! I think you covered all of them. Halitosis yawning is quite possibly the worst offense in my book. Although I've only been to the London Underground once when I was in college. A lot of people stared at us and you know why??

    We Americans WERE LOUD.
    I shut up after a while because I was freaked out at how nicely I had fit into that stereotype.
    No lube required.
  9. Olivia 12:45 am, May 22, 2007
    At least Nikki stuck in traffic gets her own space, ambient music, and climate control...!
  10. PinkPanther 8:21 am, May 22, 2007
    Oops, Panda! I don't believe the tube in London is such that "#@%&@#".

    Though I haven't visited London, I have a good image of them via TV traveling program and magazines.

    I admire HK MTR much! (YOU should know that, rite?)

    B.T.W. I saw yr. comment in my blog --->{where have you gone? Why haven't you blogged in ages..?}
    There's a demon appeared in my blog thread lately, it dreads me
    to blog..(@[]@)
  11. feathers 8:21 pm, May 23, 2007
    Brilliant. I've only travelled on it once and I had to stand under a tall mans armpit. He did smell good though! Hope you are ok! xx
  12. panda_eyed 12:32 pm, May 24, 2007
    Flighty, it's been hot these past 2 days and just a little taster of what is yet to come when summer arrives :( Sweaty commuter hell!

    Boso, lol, yes, seriously. I was wide awake after that, the freaky man. London never ceases to amaze me :)

    Hi Elaine! Yep, you can hear you Americans waay before you see them :) No match for us reserved, won't-even-look-another-commuter-in-the-eye Brits :)

    Livs, I know - lucky Nikki!

    PinkyP - did you swear..? *gasps* :) Oh, I admire HK's trains and underground system too - efficient, quick, cheap, easy. I wish London underground was even a fraction of a bit like it!
    Get blogger to sort out your demon and come back to the blogosphere soon! xx

    Hi Feathers! Lol, you had a lucky escape there - I've stood under some v sweaty and stinky ones - peeyew! I'm great, thanks, hope you are too! xx
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