Tuesday, June 9, 2015

10 Irrational Fears That All Londoners Have


1. Stepping on a razor blade, which then proceeds to slice open your foot. You get tetanus, amongst other random diseases and spend an interminably long time hooked up to IVs while doctors try to ascertain what's actually wrong with you. 

I mean, is it just me? I totally got something stuck in the sole of my shoe a while back and, when I looked at it closer, it looked like a razor blade. Yesterday morning when I was walking into work in my Tory Burch espadrilles (NOT smart, because those espadrilles weren't made for walking / that's not what they'll do / one of these days ... oh, forget it), I totally saw a razor blade on the ground (who does that? Leave razor blades lying around, I mean?) and totally thought it'd slice right into the bottom of my shoe.

2. Getting trapped/crushed under a double-decker bus that tips over as it's turning. 

I think I inherited this fear from my mother, who used to warn me against sitting on the top deck of double-decker buses (whatever, she's the first to scamper up those stairs now when she visits London). The other day, I crossed the street with a friend and stood on the island to wait for the traffic to stop (I really should have waited for the green man, I KNOW). Two buses came roaring past at breakneck speed, turning the corner ... and yeah, I might have been a little nervous.

3. Falling onto the tube tracks just as a train pulls in.

I hate, hate, hate standing on a crowded platform waiting for the next tube train to arrive. I have this thing though, about turning my body slightly sideways, so that I'm standing perpendicular (rather than parallel) to the track. I feel like I'm less likely to lose my balance in case I'm pushed or shoved - in reality, it probably wouldn't make a difference.

4. Falling into the canal. Or the Thames.

Just ... ew.

5. Getting hit by one of those courier cyclists (or any cyclist, for that matter) who like to run red lights.

Now, this is likely to happen, as I've had enough close shaves to know that it CAN happen. Doesn't matter if you've got a green man and they've got a red light, these cyclists obey a higher law, apparently, and not only do they have a death wish for themselves - they've got one for you too. It's all you can do to not swear loudly under your breath, while they flip you the finger as they nonchalantly race away. Oh yeah, you're so cool, buddy.

6. Getting crushed by a mob of tourists on Oxford Street.

Question: what are you doing on Oxford Street in the first place?

7. Having your toenail ripped off in the summer when you're wearing sandals by one of those wheelie suitcases that people INSIST on dragging behind them in the busiest parts of London.

Don't laugh. This happened to someone I know. Not so funny now, is it?

8. Throwing up/feeling sick/fainting/being unable to control some other bodily function while on the tube.

Definitely know a few people who have done one or all of the things above.

9. Falling down the really long escalator at Angel tube station.

I fell up the escalator at Embankment once. I deserved it. I was trying to sidestep a man and tripped up, slamming my chin into the moving step. As I scrambled to get up, I was extremely paranoid that a piece of my clothing would get sucked into the stair/gap on the side. The worst part? I was carrying my violin case on my back at the time, so I looked like a turtle that couldn't get up. My pride was lost that day, people, and I'm not sure I ever got it back.

10. Feeling like you're underpaying for food/coffee/sustenance and then doubting the quality of the said food/coffee/sustenance.

"What? This cappuccino's only £4?!? There MUST be something wrong with it."

What are your irrational fears about where you live?

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42 comments

  1. Fainting on the tube used to be huge fear of mine or it getting stuck in a tunnel and we'd have to crawl out, it's not irrational it really could happen!! Summer is the worst when's unbearably hot and crowded - I always make sure I have water with me.
    Lots of love,
    Angie
    SilverSpoon London

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    1. Clearly, you and I should NEVER be trapped on a tube together, Angie, I think that's the lesson here!!! :D We'd freak each other out!!! xx

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  2. I thought I was the only one that was worried about falling into the Thames. My husband was walking a bit too close to the railing of a bridge the other day (and for me, too close is within 5 feet of the railing) and thought it was hilarious when I told him why I pulled him over towards me.

    I also always make sure that I'm leaning back when a train pulls into the station or near somewhere that I can hold on just in case someone decides that they're going to try to push me in front of a train.

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    1. Ah, so we share the same fears then, Jen!!!

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  3. Oh the tube thing is real with me, I get antsy if I'm anywhere near the yellow line in case someone decides to push me onto the tracks or in case tourists just shove by.

    Also cyclists, menaces, I got knocked over by one on Oxford Street.

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    1. WTF, Lisa!! That's so dangerous - were you hurt???

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  4. These all sound reasonable to me! Where I currently live my husband would walk along a river to school and in winter the ice would sometimes get icy and I always made him message me he made it to school as I was sure he would slip and fall in no matter how much he assured me there was a proper railing and things!

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    1. That's totally how my mind works too, Bailie!

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  5. You're so right!

    I love sitting on the top of double-decker buses, but I stopped sitting down at the FRONT ever since we saw two double-decker buses after they had smashed into each other at a bus stop two weeks ago. The front on the bus was completely smashed and we really hoped nobody was sitting there when it happened. The ambulance arrived at the same time as we were driving past in another bus. Scary.

    I spent years in Paris not being afraid of falling on the tracks. It didn't even occur to me (OK, except during rush hour, like you said). And then news started appearing that some people deliberately PUSHED other people on the Metro tracks. Since then, I am terrified of falling/being pushed on any tracks (train, Tube, etc.).

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    1. OMG, Charlotte - that is the scariest thing I've heard of in a long while ... if only because I know that it's totally possible! Really hope that no one was hurt.

      Yeah, I'm paranoid about the tube, especially when it's so busy. I used to be nervous about being intentionally pushed, but I'm so clumsy, I get nervous about stumbling forward!

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  6. These sound pretty reasonable to me.....though I'm slightly confused by the last one....if I was charged £4 for a cappucinno I'd be saying "What! You want that much for a coffee!!"....but then I don't live in London!!

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    1. Haha, that last one was a sarcastic dig at Londoners, Jacky ... it was a joke :) £4 is extortionate for a cappuccino!

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  7. Number 8 has happened, on more than one occasion. But I will not be going into detail in print...

    One crucial omission from the list - pigeon feet and wings touching your face. Argh!

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    1. *shudder* that IS a crucial omission. Once, I was with my friend and I kicked at a pigeon ... it flew straight into my hand, and then I proceeded to shriek in the middle of the busy Brunswick Centre "IT TOUCHED MY HAND!!! IT TOUCHED MY HANNNNDDD!" to the amusement of passerbys. We were having lunch, so I spent the next 10 minutes ast Patiserrie Valerie basically boiling my hand in scalding hot water and soap in the bathroom.

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  8. Oh - and I'm far more freaked out by people plucking their eyebrows or applying make-up on the tube than I am fearful of falling under the moving train! *shudder*

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    1. I sometimes have to do my make-up on the bus (though not often) when I'm running late ... the eye pencil thing is always risky!

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  9. No no, these are all pretty rational (or we're both crazy...)

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    1. Haha, I don't know about you, but ... I'm definitely crazy :D

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  10. I always worry I'll get pushed onto the tracks at the tube station - paranoid much or is this just a totally legitimate fear in London?! :D

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    1. Totally legit, I think ... though I called these "irrational" as they're also highly unlikely (touch wood)!!!

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  11. Hahaha Jaime this post made me laugh SO much. I am definitely on board with falling down the escalators when running, and being pushed on to the tube tracks, and being run over by a cyclist! AMAZING. I also have another one of sitting on something (like a dirty needle) on the tube... we're crazy people, ha! Lots of love, Andrea xxx

    Andrea's Passions

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    1. AM I RIGHT, THOUGH?? I swear that living in this city has made me 10 times more neurotic than I already am! xx

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  12. WHY did I walk onto the tube right after a woman had thrown up on the floor in front of her seat? Her seat and the one beside it were perpetually avoided by all people who got on the train afterwards. I'd actually been waiting for that to happen.
    Oxford street. I went from loving it to despising it in a matter of seconds. Great shops, but JEEZ. Far too many people, though. Like other parts of London...

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    1. I'd throw up right then and there, Gianni, if that had happened to me. In fact, I'm gagging at my desk right now. GROSS!

      Haha, re: Oxford Street. I was exactly the same! Best time to get there (if you must) is, like 9 a.m. on a weekday ... you have about a half or hour so window of peaceful shopping before they descend like locusts ...

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  13. I would add to this, being crushed by several large rucksacks on public transport as those that wear them invariably shove them into other commuters. I almost did fall into Regent's Canal when I first got on a Boris bike as they were then known. It's quite a wonky ride until you get used to it.

    Suze | LuxuryColumnist

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    1. It really, really makes me incandescent with rage when people REFUSE to take their backpacks and handbags off on crowded tube and train carriages, instead, letting them crush people around them. Do they have no sense of how much room they're taking up, or how painful it is to have a handbag corner pressed into your arm?! Ugh!

      And yes, those Boris bikes are so unwieldly ... really heavy and wobbly!

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  14. Haa YES! All of these. Commuting on the central line. In July. Fainting was always a possibility!

    Lauren xx
    The Lifestyle Diaries

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  15. Hahahahaha this has me in fits of giggles!! I'm sorry, I know it's not funny, but now I am just imagining you looking like a turtle trying to get up the escalator!! Totally agree with numbers 2 and 3 but this may be because I've actually been hit by a bus before. It didn't turn over and crush me though so at least I have that to be thankful for!

    Also, yes, shout very loudly at cyclists. I dare them to cycle through a red light while I'm crossing ;)

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    1. Oh, it was very funny. I mean, not to me at the time, but it is now. :) xx

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  16. Lol I've never been to London but I definitely have some of these fears from living in a similarly large (and arguably more crazy!) city!

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    1. You'll have to come and visit soon, Polly!

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  17. When I'm on the bus or in the back seat of the car, I have this crazy fear that the seat in front of me will collapse and chop my feet off! This is an awesome post for getting everyone to admit to their crazy fears!

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    1. Ha! That is an unusual fear! I have worse though, I'm sure ... like how I swim in swimming pools as if something's about to reach out and grab me. My husband's always like, "Why you gotta swim so fast?!?!" I'm like "SOMETHING WILL GET ME IF I DON'T TOUCH THE WALL. I KNOW IT."

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  18. The Polly above just confused me, because I knew I had already read this but could've sworn I hadn't commented yet! #bridebrain. This post made me titter, because I can empathise with every single point. Nowadays in Doha, these fears have been replaced with dying from heat exhaustion, getting irrevocably lost in the desert, and being run over by a Ferrari.

    Polly xx
    Follow Your Sunshine

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    1. Haha, other Polly has confused me before as I thought it was you at first! I think you need a post about Doha-living fears ... xx

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  19. I'm so glad I'm not the only one that's scared of the double deckers tipping over. I used to hate it when I was on a double decker bus but yet love them at the same time for that glorious view! Now I'm back in Oz, I'm frightened of being eaten by a giant hunstman or having a snake come in to my car!

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    1. Totally agree with you re: double-decker buses, Jade! And ... I'd love to visit Oz some day! The views I've seen look like the stuff of fairytales!

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  20. I must be blind. I've never seen a razor blade in the 5 years I've lived in London.

    My main fear isn't necessarily me falling on the tracks, but watching someone jump onto them and get hit by the train. I watch the train go all the way in everyday just so I can sound the alarm if it does happen...not that there would be much prevention afterwards!

    www.theycalleditthediamondblog.com

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    1. Ha, lucky you, Felicity! Maybe I just frequent all the sketchy, casual razor-tossing parts of London. ;)

      Oh my goodness - I can't imagine witnessing someone being hit by a train. That's a traumatizing thought in itself!

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  21. I know this is an insanely late comment but it's gotta be done - it's a brilliant post :) Number 3 is way too real! I definitely share your habit of turning my body sideways (and eyeballing everyone around me to check they don't have murderous tendencies) just before the tube zooms into the station. And I've fainted on the train a few times, once on the Met line as a schoolgirl and once on Southeastern. The first time no one stopped to help me (literally, they stepped over me) and the second time the train was packed with Chinese school kids who all stared at me as I fell over (but didn't offer their seats to me, ha). Finally a kind lady let me sit down and took my water bottle to slosh a bit of cold water over me. There are generous strangers out there...somewhere. xx

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    1. Haha, thank you, Tamsin! That's awful that you fainted AND NO ONE STOPPED TO HELP. What is WRONG with people? Thank goodness for that kind lady! xx

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