Commuting between Middlesex and London

Off to the office - waiting for the Jubilee Line

Commuting can be a pain but it also has its advantages. I’ve been commuting between Middlesex and London for almost a whole 12 months and I can say it does grow on you. The other day I was thinking, gosh I’ve been doing this through four seasons. The journey to London is about 30 mins and returning home is the same however, if the trains stop on the tracks because there is  red signal or some sort of congestion at the next station ahead well you’ve got no choice but hope you have something useful to do – even taking a drink of water. That’s another thing during the Summer or any season it is advisable to carry a bottle of water with you – even if taking a drink, it needs to look meaningful especially if you don’t have a copy of your favourite newspaper or the Metro ( a free newspaper which you pick up at your home station) in the morning.

In one of the carriages
In one of the carriages

I’ve noticed that the carriages are very quiet if all the passengers are not workmates or family or friends – oh boy! that could be a very lonely hour of commuting. You may want to check that you curb your urge to smile at strangers. We do it n PNG all the time. But it may, you know, sapos yu meri na yu  laik smail nabout, be inviting unnecessary interest as it happened to me when I first arrived in London and used to walk to work but that’s another story. It’s mostly quiet except for the odd loud music seeping through someone’s earphones that can be annoying especially if you don’t dig that kind of tune. I usually have my 4-year old iPod handy incase I have to briefly escape to Hawaii, PNG or the pop world. Another annoying thing is feet on the seats – aaaah but it is written on the windows no feet on the seats! Either the person(s) is too lazy, illiterate or can’t read English – the common and major lingua franca of Great Britain! There are some really nice unexpected wonderful experiences like someone letting you have a seat because you are a Woman! or they figure you’re greying around the temples and therefore entitled to the Priority Seats which are almost near the doors – nevermind about being old and suffering the draught! But anyway, I get to read someone’s paper because you can either ask for it or pick up as soon as they put it down next to you – by the way these are the free papers. Once in awhile I run into one of my workmates which is rather rare but it does happen. The journey to and from work allows me to get in touch with myself, if you can imagine that – reflection of the day ahead, the day just gone by and some heavy duty stuff I should be focusing my energies on at the office or some deadline to meet. It allows me time to catch up with myself and that is not a bad thing in this day and age when you are rushing around like a headless chick – en.

Sometimes standing is not too uncomfortable...
Sometimes standing is not too uncomfortable...

Commuting for me is not too bad but some of my colleagues don’t like it when it’s crowded. Well I do too. But on my line the crowd thins out after the first 4 stops which are on the outskirts of Central London. I get to sit down – phew! But not so for some workmates who say when it’s standing room only they find their faces up someone’s armpit – and I try not to imagine that! Or pickpocketed – hey it happens. I was warned about pickpocketing (yes, here in London) last Friday night by a friend on our way to the tube station heading home that I must watch my knapsack and make sure it’s tightly closed. Good advice  – why? because it happened to her and it’s a good habit to develop. I think she mentioned it 3 times, so, well coming from her I sat up and listened and made sure my knapsack was tightly closed.  Don’t get me wrong – I had to adjust to riding on a train as opposed to walking to the office. Adjustment’s cool. No complaints there infact I am learning alot about life in London and the UK by getting on a train to and from the office and home. Commuting is a way of life when you have a job somewhere else and a home somewhere else. So the long and short of it is that it is a fact of life for the next 12 months. I also need to ensure that my Oyster card is topped up and ready for either the trains, tube or buses so I don’t have to find myself in a queue when I need to get to somewhere pronto. Commuting for me  is an interesting, sometimes satisfying and enjoyable experience in a weird kind of way perhaps when I got used to not saying a word for 30 mins to work and 30 mins on my way home. I think anyone can write a movie script, put a business plan together or develop an idea for a major bestseller because you are thinking and not chatting to anyone. If one’s experiencing writer’s block or something similar perhaps one could consider commuting. It could be a great way to get those creative juices going.

Author: IslandMeri

I am based in Port Moresby, the capital city of Papua New Guinea. The purpose of this blog is to share my magic moments in Papua New Guinea, elsewhere in the Pacific and the world. I have many creative pursuits - singing, songwriting, amateur photography and blogging.

2 thoughts on “Commuting between Middlesex and London”

  1. Gudi Jephthah!

    Eauedo! Agutoi la’ila’i (thank you very much) for your comment on commuting and for getting in touch. What a wonderful surprise. It’s amazing that people so far away from eachother can still connect through the information highway. I will be sharing my stories of the Underground – some are rather funny so watch this space. I read your blog and really enjoyed your stories. You have a unique style of writing and I am so pleased you got in touch. Your story and pics on the snake in the ceiling reminded me of a snake crawling up the wall in the mess house at Cameron High one lunch time. It was quickly put down and we carried on with lunch in the mess house as if nothing happened. It was scary and funny at the sametime for a 15 year-young girl then. Yes a regular commute from Naura or Nigila to Alotau would be really different as everyone knows eachother and no doubt would be saying gudi and chatting about almost anything under the sun – weather, next boat to Dogura, canoe festival, price of TruKai rice etc. By the way, photos and news of Dinner Island (Samarai) would be most appreciated. Keeps me saying kapore eanua and always an inspiration for my songs. Before I forget, one of my former Cameron High teachers and friend of mine Rob Dehaan and his wife will be sailing by China Straits, Samarai, Logea, Kwato in about a year or two and would be great if someone like you can look out for them. He was my Math and Science teacher and also taught me and a couple of other Year 10 students (1970) first aid which took us to Sanderson Bay for lessons in saving lives in the water. Well I was a great disappointment and to think that as an island meri I should have been the star – well complete opposite! We are in contact with eachother after 39 years! I praise God for that. They are currently enjoying sun, sand and sea in the Caribbean. Stay in touch. Aioni for now…

  2. Mari, your commuting to work experience is interesting and a good read – refreshing too in a way to read something as different as it is done maybe lets say back in POM or even at Alotau (like the Nigila’s or Naura’s coming to work at Alotau town!!)
    My family live on Samarai Island for the past 20 + yrs and we call it home although I rotate to work every 4 weeks (Petroleum explorations).
    Every so often I try to post pics and stories of my holidays back at Samarai – maybe you would like to visit my blog too – http://www.papuanewguinealocaltourist.blogspot.com.
    Be in touch and keep those moments coming………

    Jephthah

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