The daily commute or how to keep yourself happy.

Image courtesy of  Donjuanna on Flickr

I have discussed my daily commute before. As it is bloody cold, wet and dark at present, I have ceased my cycling for the moment and am relying on the combination of walking, train and tube again. Every morning when I stand waiting for my train, I marvel at the numbers of commuters cramming every 10 minutes into the train to London. These trains are not little 2 wagon affairs, now, they are appropriately 300 meters long and apparently have about 1000 – 2000 commuters  on it. As you can imagine, finding a seat can be very difficult, especially when the trains are late and everybody is trying to cram into the last standing space to be at work on time.

So, depending on the amount of space I have, I have devised an entertainment strategy to get through these mind numbingly boring 30 minutes in the morning (and evening)

What you need:

  • One Guardian (The Independent has become unreadable for all its ads and lack of content. It’s soon going to be extinct anyway)
  • One FM-radio enabled media player (or phone, in my case)
  • One media player containing podcasts and music
  • One book (preferably small paperback)

When the train pulls in, you quickly have to decide what will be the best way to entertain yourself, depending on the amount of passengers waiting with you and the amount of passengers already on the train.

A rough guideline would be:

  • Easy standing space (sharing the dedicated standing space in the middle of the carriage with maximum 4 middlesized men {women always find a seat. don’t ask me why. It’s a cosmic mystery}):  Fully extended Guardian plus some wake up tunes from the Ipod)
  • Moderate standing space (ca 6 men sharing): G2 and Music
  • Awkward standing Space: (ca 8 men sharing): Paperback and Music. This necessitates a paperback that can be held and used with only one hand.
  • Crammed standing space: (8+ men, no space to move whatsoever): Either Mediaplayer with a long podcast (30 minutes+  so you don’t have to touch the Ipod dial) or Radio 4’s “Today” show on FM Radio)

If you follow these easy guidelines, you too can have an entertaining and educational commute.

Just don’t forget to brush your teeth and use a bit of deodorant. For the rest of us.

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