Saturday, March 17, 2007

Dispose of my nose ring

I've waited two weeks before letting myself announce this - I've cried wolf in the past and this time I wanted to be sure.

I have officially renounced the underground.

I'm too young to be a grumpy old man and everything about the underground made me grumpy.
- carriages littered with free newspapers
- people consuming everything from Happy Meals to beer
- Starbucks cups left next to the handrail at the top of every escalator
- and the amount of money it costs to enjoy all of the above!

It was a recipe for mental illness. And that's not to mention the signal failures, planned works (every weekend), wind, children playing on the lines, snow, staff shortages and whatever else it was that caused sorry sights like this:

For the last two weeks I've restricted myself to overland train and tram to school and bus and foot to my other jobs. Fridays have been particularly awesome - I have been walking to the new job via the Grand Union Canal...

then walking to my other job for the afternoon before returning through Kensington Gardens...

and Hyde Park...

No more walking for me, however, because I now have a bike!

I've ridden it everywhere for the last three days and it's made me think I could learn to love London yet (except, possibly, when it's raining).


Simon Liu said...

I like your pictures about Hyde Parl! Nice!

Knuffy's Owner said...

You'll be well prepared for CityRail if you ever move back here. At least you actually have some information about what's going on over there. Here, it's usually just some mumbled inaudible announcement over the loudspeaker.

Did you hear about the train breakdown between Wynyard and Milsons Point Station? The poor people were stuck in the carriages for more than 2 hours!

dimsumdolly said...

Knuffy's Owner: I was about to say the same thing!

Joe: After being away from Sydney for about 2 3/4 years, Cityrail hasn't changed - it still sucks. Haha. It's good to be back in Sydney. I met up with Knuffy's mummy and daddy and Knuffy himself on Saturday. He even had a beesuit on! I got to see him in the nude too. Heehee. Pictures will be sent soon!

cal said...

Finally!! I'm sure I was trying to persuade you to get a bike months and months ago. It's wonderful isn't it?

Tube bad, bus better (except the bendy ones), bike best.

Knuffy's Owner said...

Dimsumdolly: Knuffy says it was nice to meet you, but please don't show the nude pictures to anyone. He's almost 5 years old now and developing some awareness of body image.

Oh, but plz send me the pix you took! I stupidly forgot my camera.

Joe: I hope you'll be pleased to see the pix of the 2 (or 3) of us together.

Joe said...

Thanks Simon.

KO and DSD, I'm so proud that you two have now met in two different countries since I introduced you. I just wish I was there too! Can't wait to see the photos.

I never really used Cityrail much in Sydney but I'm not sure how much I can trust your judgements seeing that your points of reference are the superefficient Singapore and Germany. DSD, I'll eagerly await your arrival here to hear your comparison of Sydney, Sg and London.

Cal you are so right and I wish I'd listened to you sooner! I feel so free and adventurous!

Anonymous said...

Reminds me of the good ol days in London...

Anonymous said...

goes to show, Central line and the Jubilee line is always the best. Imagine if you took the Piccadilly line to heathrow that day...painful. I had expected the Northern line to say..."No service"!

j a s o n said...

London's Underground - for all its faults, it announcements of severe delays, signalling problems, faulty train ahead, passenger taken ill, planned engineering works, people under train, people on tracks, suspect package, station closure due to suspect package...still is a great way to get around London 90% of the time.

I heard about Shityrail last week. That's terrible, but so believable, and I agree with the indecipherable heavily accented garbled announcements on the 50yr old carriages. Pathetic.

I vowed to quit relying on rail when I left Sydney...and here we are in Sunny London, self-enslaved to the beastly Tube! I couldn't convince S&C to walk home yesterday - and the tube journey turn out to be over 45min!!

Well done Joe!

Joe said...

Anonymous, if you are missing London then try saving that photo as a wallpaper. I may just kiss the floor of the MTR next time I ride it.

Jason, your memory for the apology announcements is obviously the result of extensive experience. Thanks for the bike btw!

Shame on S&C! That was a 30 minute walk on a beautiful day. Crazy.

j a s o n said...

I want a photo of me kissing the floor of an MTR and I want Anonymous to take it!!

I also remember this one repetive one from my days on Sydney's Cityrail.

"Trains are running late and out of timetable order."