Thursday, May 1, 2014

Spotted from a London Bus Window

So, there was a tube strike this week which lasted for two days. For those of you who don't live in London, this essentially meant that several lines were closed, with some running a significantly reduced service. The knock-on effect was that people who have never cycled in London decided to do so, and people who apparently never walk to work also decided to do so. This meant that there were quite a few more London ambulances on the road (I kid you not) and some passive-aggressive elbow-throwing on the already crowded sidewalks.

But on the whole, tube strikes don't really affect me (and haven't for years) as I'm fortunate enough to live in a part of London that is mostly dependent on bus routes and I can easily walk to work in under an hour. This is beneficial to the general public because venturing underground and taking the tube turns me into a nasty, spiteful, troll-like monster. I curse at tourists who choose to stop right at the bottom of the busy escalator at Oxford Circus, I've had shouting matches with people who nearly run me off the platform, and I've had my fair share of men reading their morning newspapers on my head (yes, my head) because they thought it served a useful purpose on a crowded train as a book stand. To say that I hate traveling by tube would be an understatement; I avoid it at all costs.

I've lived in London long enough now that I walk whenever I can. I know, it's shocking. Ask John what I was like when we met 9 years ago - I thought walking to Oxford city centre from St. Catherine's College was a hike (to be fair, it is kind of a trek).

When I'm not walking, I take the bus. I love buses (except when I fall up the stairs and bruise my knee so badly, I can't walk on my leg properly for two days). They're convenient, stop where you'd like them to stop, and you can just kind of sit yourself upstairs, stare out the window and daydream.

Sometimes, you even see interesting/curious/funny things/people and even situations play out on the streets of London.

Like this bride (with veil, which you can't see in this photo) who was doing a photo shoot with her groom near St. Paul's:

Or this scene near Mansion House, in which mounted police stopped traffic and allowed photo opportunities to take place in the middle of the street:

I have no idea what's going on here, though I assume it has something to do with the Lord Mayor (it's not the Lord Mayor Show, btw - that's later in the year). 

See? Interesting, I tell you.

p.s. If you're visiting London and want a really cheap bus tour, take the 15 from Aldgate East. It passes by loads of famous streets and landmarks, including the Tower of London, Monument, St. Paul's Cathedral, The Royal Courts of Justice, Somerset House, and The Strand. It used to go a lot further than Charing Cross station (e.g. through Piccadilly Circus and Oxford Street) but I guess it doesn't anymore.



  1. Ditto that to all of the above, except being able to walk to work - I catch the train, but over an hour earlier than normal to beat the crazy rush on tube strike days.
    Another good bus route is the 10!

    1. I don't know the 10 at all! Must look that up ... :)


© angloyankophile

This site uses cookies from Google to deliver its services - Click here for information.

Blogger Template Created by pipdig