Saturday, September 27, 2008


It was back to pushing my way onto the train during the morning rush-hour yesterday. Now that we're learning to stand on one side of the escalator so that people can walk past on the other side, we're pretty much like London commuters. The only notable difference is, Singapore commuters don't read. Well, Singaporeans don't read, sniffs L. And this is despite two freesheets on offer. The Londoners grab their freesheets, Metro in the morning and The London Paper in the evening, and leave them on the backs of the seats after they're done reading so someone else can pick it up for a read. Or they've got their noses buried into books. I don't think I've ever seen anyone reading an actual Real Book here in a long while. In Singapore, people just stare blankly into space. Or play PSP. I didn't see a single PSP in the London Tube. Though I suppose if you're flashing one when you're heading out to say, Epping, then you're really asking for trouble.

Only yesterday, I read on the Guardian online how London mayor Boris Johnson proudly showed off the new air-conditioned carriages for the London Underground. Having only recently sweated it out on the Piccadilly line, I wondered why it took the world's first underground system till 2008 to install air-conditioned trains. And it's not for all lines but the newer ones. Commuters on Piccadilly will still have to sweat it out. Sorry, R.

1 comment:

The Cat's Whiskers said...

Grrr ... says R. From what I understand, the problem with the deeper Underground lines is that they are some of the oldest and the tunnels aren't large/high enough to accommodate the airconditioning unit which apparently has to be installed on the top of the train. So that's why the Picadilly and Victoria Lines won't get the airconditioning. And when you consider how old some parts of the Tube are - apparently the oldest tube line in the world is the Metropolitan line. It opened on the 10th January 1863. - it's amazing that it's still working. In the meantime I shall try not to think too hard about you sitting in cool comfort on the MRT.