It's been a few days since we've been told to avoid the tube except for essential travel, and we already miss it badly. Here's what we can't wait to get back to, when happier times return.
1. Funny tube driver announcements
One of the tests for speculative tube drivers is their ability to churn out droll one-liners over a PA system. You know, like: "Would the guy with the piano accordion please put your trousers back on." or "My apologies for the delay to the service. We forgot to stop at Kentish Town and must now reverse." Right now, we'd settle for a chiding from an irate driver for leaning on the doors. Simpler times.
Assuming you're working from home, you might be lounging on a sofa, or even sprawled on your bed. But admit it, you're already missing the rough, bouncy surface of tube moquette against your backside, indented with the the buttocks of 11 million other Londoners before you. We hope that you have a pair of moquette socks or even a moquette cushion to keep you going through these otherwise moquette-less times.
3. Knowing the exact spot to wait on the platform for the doors to open
While all the other commuters are scrabbling around you — like a goalkeeper trying to position themselves in the right spot for a penalty kick — it feels good to stand on your exact mark on the platform then stride, unfazed, straight onto the train. Skillz.
4. Getting lost inside Bank station
Forget Hampton Court — THIS is London's premier maze. If you're finding it hard to get lost on your current commute from bedroom to living room, why not create a rough simulation of Bank station at 8.30am by blindfolding yourself, spinning round 200 times then getting your housemates to smash into you as you edge your way along the hallway. Ahh memories.
5. The weird sci-fi sound the Jubilee line makes
6. Minding the gap
When we're finally allowed back on the tube, we are going to mind the f**k out of that gap.
7. Social distancing... in close proximity
When you think about it, Londoners always bossed the whole social distancing thing — emotionally at least — and particularly on the tube, where we managed to have our own little lives going on all to ourselves, despite being half a centimetre away from the next person. Speaking of which...
8. Moaning about how hot it is
We're not far off the season where the tube gets so hot, it's unfit for transporting livestock — something that every Londoner loves to moan about while passively aggressively flapping their pocket tube map in front of their face. Except that, given there's been an 80% drop in passengers over Covid-19, it's probably going to be nice and temperate down there this spring and summer.
9. The tube map
10. Getting the last seat...
That smug feeling you get when you score the last available slab of moquette.
11. ... then giving up your seat
That smug feeling you get when, two seconds later, you give up your seat for someone who needs it more than you — and feel like a genuine tube hero.
12. Not reading the Metro
We already really miss not picking up our copy of the Metro and not reading all the latest Lewis Capaldi/Rita Ora goss.
Those wonderful beacons that make us feel safe and warm wherever we go. Can't wait to have them back in our lives.