5 INOFFENSIVE SCENARIOS THAT WILL SERIOUSLY ANNOY A LONDON MODEL
Ok, so these are things that will not only annoy models but any Londoner who use the underground on a regular basis! But, as a model here in London you do spend an awful lot of time on the underground commuting back and forth to castings which are often at completely different parts of the city. We can easily have up to 5 castings in one day, and as London is so large, it can take you an hour and a half just to travel between two of them. I recon that during my career I have in total spend more time on the underground than I have spent in a photo studio. Our fellow model and blogger friend, Megan Taylor, pointed out something funny the other day. She said that the people who are the most knowledgeable when it comes to travelling around London are cab drivers and models!
So, I have now truly established the fact that London-commuting takes up a lot of time in a normal week for us. Because of this, we have all picked up on little, inoffensive things that shouldn’t really bother us, but which we find suuuper annoying. The other day we started talking about the little things that make our blood boil on a daily bases and found that it was all the same things. So here it is, the 5 things that annoy us the most when commuting between castings in London.
Photo by Lydia Collins
1. When people get off the escalator and stop!
People doing this are probably mainly tourists unsure of where to go next, so they step off the escalator and stop to work out where to go next. The problem with escalators though is that people behind you will still keep on coming, we do not have the option to stop in the middle of a step... and what then ends up happening is that a stream of new people will also get to the bottom of the escalator. These people will then be in danger of stumbling over the not so clever person who is just standing there looking lost. One time during rush hour at Victoria station I saw a woman with a small suitcase who did this. She took one step off the escalator and plunked her suitcase right next to her, making it impossible for anyone else to pass her - and literally, 100s of people were on their way down. I was fairly close to getting off myself and for a moment I had a vision of me stumbling over the women and her suitcase before being buried by all of the other people behind us. Now that would have been seriously dangerous!! Luckily, the tall and muscly man ahead of me lifted the women and her suitcase out of the way, and moved her a meter o so further along, letting the flow of people stream by. She was furious with him shouting angry words at him for picking her up like that. Little did she know that he literally just saved her from a really bad accident. I see people stopping like this all of the time, so now I try and say 'excuse me, you need to move' as loud as I dear before getting to the last few steps.
So, to you out there who might be new to London and the underground system. Know that it is absolutely fine to take your time to work out where you need to go. I understand it can be confusing and intimidating. But PLEASE, for your own and others safety, never ever stop to have a look around as soon as you get off an escalator. All it needs is for you to take a few steps forward before you stop (ideally by a wall or a corner rather than in the middle of where people are walking, as this is pretty annoying too...).
MOVE DOWN THE CARRIAGE!
2. When people don't move further into the underground carriage to use all of the available space when the train is completely full and other people are struggling to get on.
The other day I got on the underground at Oxford Street in the middle fo rush hour. It was completely packed and I just about managed to get on a train, ending up completely squashed up against the door. I see that a woman is standing with a small suitcase just where the row of seats starts, with loads of space behind her. 5-6 people could have easily fitted into that free space, but this woman was blocking anyone from using this space… I caught her eye and pointed at the space behind her indicating that she should move in (too embarrassed to use my voice and just ask of course). She looked back at me and just raised her shoulders, not moving an inch! She was clearly getting off at the next stop and couldn’t be bothered to get trapped further in. So the rest of us, about 30 people, stuck closer to the door just had to deal with standing extremely close to each other. And let's not forget the many people still left on the platform, not even able to get on the train…. Thank you ever so much for your thoughtfulness suitcase-lady (sorry for sounding like I have a massive issue with women with suitcases - that is not the case I promise, and I am very often a ‘women with a suitcase on the underground’ myself. Hehe).
3. When you walk down the street (mainly Oxford Street area), and you can't physically pass as the group of people in front of you are all spread out in one long line walking unbearably slow.
In general, I like to walk quite fast, even when I don't need to. I get impatient with slow walking and get loads of energy from a slightly fast and study pace. I'm also often running a bit late, so to make it to castings on time, walking fast is a necessity! So when I end up walking behind large groups of people who are just slowly making their way down the street, completely oblivious to the fact that they are taking up the entire sidewalk, making it impossible for others to walk past them. The amount of times I've had to walk out in the road where the cars are driving (not so safe) because other pedestrians are unwilling to give way is unbelievable. Please, can't you be a little bit mindful and instead walk on one part of the sidewalk letting others pass easily if they do not wish to constantly stop and look at everything surrounding us. We appreciate that it's an exciting place to visit with lots to look at, but you can do all of that without making it impossible for others to walk at a normal pace and actually get to work on time.
4. When the time table on the platform tells you that the next train is MORE than 4 minutes away.
Ok, so this is definitely a luxury problem us Londoners have. In my hometown in Norway, I’m happy if the next bus gets there within the next 20 minutes. Anything less than 10 minutes of waiting would be a dream!! But in London, well here we are spoiled. We are so used to an underground train arriving every 1-2 minutes that it is a disaster if the next train is something like 6 minutes away. If this happens, I get my Citymapper app (a very handy app for traveling around big cities around the world, FYI) out and start looking for other faster routes to my destination. God forbid I wait 6 minutes!!! Haha. I’d love to say that I’m exhadurating, but unfortunately I’m not.
ANOTHER ESCALATOR SITUATION
5. When people are standing still on the left-hand side of the escalator (yes, another escalator issue.. all the trouble happens there I tell you).
If you visit London, please remember this golden underground rule: always stand on the right side of the escalator, the left-hand side is for walking ONLY!
It is quite funny actually if you spot a poor soul who has missed this memo, standing still on his/her phone completely blocking the left-hand side. Everyone around is rolling their eyes at this ‘fool’ unaware of our ways here - haha! We then walk up to this person full of frustration before saying in a proper English fashion ‘Excuse me. I’m really sorry but can I please pass? Thank you very much’. Bless the very polite English ways, I think it is so lovely that everyone here is so polite.
I’m sorry for all the ranting and complaining from me today. I hope you know that I’m writing all of this with humour in mind, and with a smile on my face whilst creating this post.
Yes, these things frustrate us way more than it should - but it is something we laugh about. And by that, I mean that we laugh of ourselves being so irritable and hotheaded over basically nothing :P
Despite all my ranting and complaining, it seems like I am just as bad. Or worse actually! The other day I made a classic ‘annoying traveller’ move, and I wasn’t just annoying, I was (unintentionally) rude as well. This is what i did:
I got of at my local tube station with my eyes locked on my phone screen. Bad start to walk around mainly focused on your phone… Then I walked up the stairs on the wrong side (the side mean for people walking the other direction). Ups! As I was so distracted by my phone, I didn’t see the older gentleman with a walking stick, making his way down the steps whilst holding onto the rails. I was completely in his way, and almost walked right into him before thankfully looking up just in time to get out of his way. I bet I do things like this all the time without even noticing. People (like me) walking around on the streets or on the underground whilst lokking at their phone screens, are the worst! :p So I’m sorry London - I’ll try and be better :)