(Simon and Garfunkel - Homeward Bound)
I travelled by train today, for the first day on my new placement. It makes a real change from commuting by car, and although I suspect the novelty might wear off at some point over the next twelve months, I thought I'd share with you some things that I have realised:
1. I'm going to have to ditch the heels. As I made my way precariously up the cobbled hill to the train station the need for some smart flat shoes became immediately apparent.
2. There will be a queue. I completely didn't consider that anyone other than myself would need to buy tickets for the train, and consequently missed the (luckily very early) train I was planning on taking as I stood in line.
3. Headphones seem to be customary attire, it amazed me how many people were plugged in, face down into their screens. On one hand it felt more than a little bizarre how isolated everybody managed to be on such a busy train, on the other hand, I really missed having the radio on, so I may end up joining the masses of wired up workers.
4. The morning train was cramped. To the point where I couldn't even open my bag without elbowing three different people in the face, so if I do want to use my phone/read a book/take up knitting I need to have it in hand before I climb aboard.
5. Similarly, standing on a commuter train provides a logistical nightmare when it comes to positioning yourself in the aisle. Trying to find a place to put yourself that does not involve at least one person in the seats having a close up view of your crotch is not an easy task, but the vague shuffling I did to try and rectify the situation passed the journey, stranded as I was without access to my bag.
6. Standing on a crowded train in August makes you remember why it is important to have breakfast. At least, I suppose, if I had fainted, no-one would have noticed, held upright as I would have been by the people crammed in around me.
7. No-one, that I could see, has mastered the art of sleeping elegantly on public transport.
8. Train travel is a great leveller. The high powered businessman looks slightly less dominating as he drools against the window. The brunette with the beautiful hair was doing her make up on the journey, making me realise she was someone like me who chooses more time in bed whenever given the option. The two girls in jeans who looked to be off for a day shopping, turned out to be going on a course (I think) about dental nursing. I love guessing everyone's stories.
9. Don't assume the main station is the nearest. It was only when I got off the train I realised the penultimate stop would have been closer. At least I learnt it on a day when I had plenty of time.
10. I love working in the city, the city I studied in, the city I was born in, the city my mum worked in when she was my age. It feels like coming home.