Thursday, March 13, 2014
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a Londoner in posession of an oyster card must be in want of a bus.
OK, so Jane Austen doesn't directly translate into TFL, but I have come to love and understand the true importance of the bus.
None of this fannying around with tube strikes, armpit sniffing and delays - the London bus is the old reliable.
With direct links from your front door to Oxford Circus, your friend's dinner party or a late night take away, the red double-decker knows no bounds.
Not only is it convenient, but you get to see the light of day and interact with fellow commuters (by this I mean make a glance towards the driver rather than a ticket machine) - what could be more life affriming than that!?
There is also the opportunity to pretend you are driving the commuter vessel by sitting on the top deck. Here you have front row seats to traffic and cyclists' shenanigans.
Be warned though that the bus has a different cliental to that of the underground. I have found myself next to an unwashed gentleman fondling inside his undergarments and not had the calousness to oust my seat and move away (more likely I was overcome with the Britishness of ignoring unpleasantries and staying put).
Be sure that you will experience London to its full potential in a red london bus more than an underground shuttle.
Take heed, take the bus.
Twenty five. The milestone for a silver wedding anniversary. The london bus that arrives at either Hainault or Holles street. The counterpart of the psychedelic drug LSD-25.
And, unknown until now, the age of the early-life crisis.
Reaching this mile stone forces the 'young professional' to analyse their life. In an age where student loans have become as meaningful as paying back siblings for a pint, many are faced with the painful realisation that they are forging the life of a student. With no proper job, no real money, and no concrete idea of what to do, furthering one's education seems the best idea. Maybe another degree (this time in film studies and women's rights perhaps?) will be 3 years well spent. But embarking on this course at the age of 25 may produce the hard truth that university won't open doors and kick-start careers. Postgrads will end up starting a graduate scheme that, sadly, could have been acheived with their first degree.
Similarly, those that bit the bullet a while back, are now stuck in a job that they lack passionate for. They want to wind the watch back to immaturity and go travelling, pick a different career or fritter the student loan. They may have got on the bus but it still landed at a stop beginning with H.
Another worry is the love life. Is it ok to be 25 with a serious boyfriend and not want to get married? How do you know they are 'the one'? Is it also ok to be 25 and not be with anyone? Everyone seems to be aiming for 30, the age of marriage and babies - does a singleton need to line up the options beforehand? A silver wedding anniversary seems to be a luxury of a past generation.
So why don't we sack it all in? Let's get high on the drugs of freedom, no commitments and travel.
But that is not the answer is it? The whole point of life is to test yourself. Find what you like, what you don't like, learn from mistakes, mend the errors and enjoy making more. No one can predict the future and in the mean time is it really that bad to commit to a hard day's work in order to buy some drinks for your friends who share the same worries?
I'll have a large glass of house white please.