2 - CongestionMature


Despite almost getting chucked off the train thanks to Tommy disturbing the other passengers when he was looking for his phone, the journey went surprisingly well, and we arrived on time at London Euston station. We now had to get our minds around the mess of train lines that was the London Tube. The map looked like a plate of colourful spaghetti, with confusing labels that didn't seem to point to anywhere in particular. Why was this place so busy? Was it always like this? We fought our way against the crowds (it's annoying how whenever you want to get somewhere when it's busy, everyone's always going in the opposite direction) and read the map of all the different routes and stations.

"Well this makes no sense," muttered Tommy, quickly losing interest. He tapped his teeth a few times, an annoying habit of his.

"Well we can't walk there," said Danny, "I think we need to get this one."

Danny jabbed his finger on the map at one of the lines. Danny was the smart one of the group, so I trusted his judgement. We battled against the crowds of people that seemed to be spilling into the station from all directions. It was like swimming in a river with a very strong current... a strong angry current. Were we doing something wrong going this way? Were there some unspoken rules of tube etiquette we hadn't been informed of?

London really brought home the over-crowding problem Britain has. In the remote village I lived in, population problems seemed almost laughable. It was one of those villages where everyone knew everyone. There were a few primary schools and one high school that everybody went to. Modern technology was likened to witchcraft, and no one realised that tractors were not meant to be the main users of the road.

We were shoved onto a tube which was clearly full already. You didn't need to hold on as there wasn't a chance of falling over - there wasn't any space to. I had no idea where the hell Matty and Tommy had got to. They seemed to have been consumed by the crowds of people. But I wasn't going to worry about that right now - all I cared about was getting to this gig without being killed on public transport.

"Oi Jake, can you see Danny?" shouted Finn over the noise of the tube.

"Yeah he's next to me," I answered, "Where's Tommy and Matty?"

"Dunno," said Finn, "We'll find them. I hope this is the right bloody train. I'm not missing this gig."

The carriage suddenly lurched forward, and I had to presume we were moving, as there were people in the way of all the windows. I realised quickly catching tubes was really a game of luck. I was sure no one actually understood the tube map, they just pretended to. And then there was the whole challenge of getting to your train, and getting off at the right place, without being able to see where you were. There must be thousands of people that end up at the wrong end of London every day. I was just glad I didn't work here. I would demand extra pay if I had to catch the tube to work all the time.

I readjusted my feet on the grimy floor, accidentally standing on some woman's shoes. I had all kinds of crap on the bottom of my trainers. I didn't know what I'd stood in, but it wasn't pretty.

The train stopped and Danny dived for the door, so I figured it must be our platform. He clearly had some higher intelligence that the rest of us didn't posses - as he seemed to know what he was doing. We got off and discovered Tommy and Matty at one of the vending machines buying £10 worth of chocolate bars. How they managed to get off before us I don't know, but then Tommy will do just about anything for food.

We climbed the cement stairs to get into the open air and discovered luck was apparently on our side - we appeared to be in the right place. Danny got out his phone and started waving it around, trying to get Internet connection. He had an iPhone with google maps on it. In previous experiences, his google maps had been more of a hindrance than a help. You hear on the news that people have been driving into lakes because their Sat Nav told them to. Google Maps went pretty much the same way - especially in the dark. I'm pretty sure that 'google maps told us to' wouldn't hold up as an excuse if we were caught walking through people's gardens.

The End

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