Monday, 22 September 2014

T is for Train...

Do you know what else the letter t is for? Trauma. Let me explain. Having grown up relatively close to my primary and secondary school I never had much need for the train and more often than not, got the bus or walked. The train therefore, was reserved for 'special' long journeys or school trips which always had the teacher's in a state as they obsessively stopped every 5 mins to do head counts or see if we we're holding hands with our buddies. I suppose the haze of nostalgia may be why I held such an idealised view of train journeys. Train's seemed to be filled with these smartly dressed business people and it was always relatively quiet. Buses, however, seemed to be the complete antithesis. Filled with screaming babies in prams, screaming school children and sometimes even screaming adults. Don't get me wrong, I love buses and they're a great way to get around but to my younger self, they didn't have quite the same appeal. But who could blame me; I grew up watching shows like Thomas the Tank Engine. Thomas the Double Decker Bus doesn't quite have the same ring to it. Anyway, now that I have to commute to university and get the train nearly every day, I've finally seen, or should I say remembered, the dark side of this so called utopia.

Our story begins on a dreary Monday morning. Despite the bleak weather I refused to be deterred from having a good day. I had left earlier than usual and had planned for extra time to go to the library before my first lecture. So as I stood breathing in the freshly brewed coffee from the catering stall while browsing through a metro the first train arrived. As the doors opened I was faced with what can only be described as madness. People were packed so tightly together that it appeared as if they had melded into one giant organism.I was half convinced that people would start bursting out the carriage from how densely packed it was. Alas, no one was able to get on and the train went off. Having left early, I was still on time so I simply waited for the next train. Only the next train was cancelled for some reason or another. But it gets better, the next train was so packed it didn't even stop. By now the platform was beginning to get really crowded and people were starting to get agitated. The cool exterior of these smart business men and women was beginning to crack. You could almost see their game faces fall into place as steel determination set in their eyes. They were getting on the next train one way or another. This then led to an elaborate day dream of people acting like wild animals on an African savannah clawing and throwing other people off the train so they could get on. Luckily, I some how managed to get stuffed on to the next train.Which brings me back to T for trauma. I know your thinking that's a bit of a strong word to use and perhaps it is. But for now it's the only one that best describes how that journey felt. If you search for the definition of trauma in Google you are met with two definitions. The first being ''a deeply distressing or disturbing experience'' and the second being ''physical injury''. It's fair to say I was subjected to both. This wasn't the bus where the driver could regulate who got on and off, to keep the number of passengers at a safe level. Even if the train driver could see through the camera's there wasn't really much they could do. So if I thought the train couldn't get any more packed; boy was I about to be proven wrong.

It seems people at the next stations were equally, if not more determined to get on the train. More people were pushing themselves on despite people pleading that they were being crushed. But no humanity failed to see sense and the carriage became so packed that it was hard to breath. Having your face pressed against a suit drenched in cologne didn't help matters either. I was convinced that this was the end, This was how I would die. Never before had I felt so claustrophobic. But things were about to get worse. A woman made a joke that she now knew how sardine felt in tin cans. But this wasn't a joke. Unlike the sardines, we were still alive, for how much longer I don't know, but the point remained. We needed oxygen and the only obvious source of air was the tiny windows and if you looked hard enough you could even see the glass misting up, Or perhaps that was just my vision from the low oxygen levels. Things would then turn for the worse as the sound of bag pipes began to fill the carriage. Perhaps someone was simply expressing their joy for Scotland still being a part of the UK. But fair to say I was definitely feeling the closeness and unity. Nothing like having brief case pressed into your back to evoke feelings of kinship for your fellow countrymen and women. Nonetheless the source of the interesting ringtone was soon revealed. A smartly dressed lady hurriedly apologised and began to root around in her bag for her phone. However, it appears that she forgot that other people were in close proximity to her and repeatedly jabbed me in the ribs and the abdomen with a surprising amount of force and continued to do so for a good couple of minutes till she located it. At this point I was convinced that I had ruptured some organ or another and was now not only about to die from hypoxia but internal bleeding. It didn't help that some poor man was coughing away, propelling microbes across the entire carriage. Somehow it all came to an end, as people began to get off the train and I could finally breathe. A tube ride and a speed walk later I made it on time, albeit with a very sore left side.

Fair to say I've learn't my lesson and have no desire to experience the 'rush hour crush' again, and will be getting an earlier train. But hey, if you have a rush hour story that you'd like to share feel free to leave a comment below :)


Friday, 19 September 2014

Hey...

Hi there! If there is anyone out there actually reading this. For some strange reason, while writing this 'momentous' first post, a mini film of Neil Armstrong's moon landing keeps playing in my mind. I suppose I can strangely see the parallels that my weirdly wired mind may have drawn. Him landing on the moon having a wander around the unknown singing ''hippety hoppety''could in some distant way be reminiscent of me starting this blog, humming said tune and similarly having a wander round the unfamiliar 'blog world'. Though clearly that's where the so called similarities end. While Armstrong's moon landing marked a momentous scientific achievement for mankind as a whole and inevitably changed the course of history; the start of this blog however, is likely to largely go unnoticed. As for it changing the course of history, well hey, a girl can dream can't she? ( insert taking over the world daydream)

Talking of dreaming, as the title of this blog suggests I have a habit of drifting off into daydreams (kind of like J.D. from Scrubs who is beyond awesome except I just end up looking like a real weirdo). Inevitably this leads to some hilarious and downright awkward situations which I'll be sure to write about. As for the purpose or theme of this blog, I honestly have no idea. For now I guess it's to chronicle my life and just any random musings I may have. 

I guess I'm supposed to say a bit about myself now. Well apart from the daydreaming thing, I am admittedly a stationery and book addict. There's just something about a new pack of pens or a new notebook that fills me up with a ridiculous amount of joy. Don't even get me started on the smell of new books. But that's for another time. As it stands, I've just started a degree in biomedical science so I guess I can call myself a biomed student now. I'm an awful dancer and I'm still scared of the dark and dementors, amongst other things despite being 'an adult' now. Anyway, I guess that's it for now. Follow this blog, if that's how this works (I've yet to fully master this whole thing) or just stick around and have a read. I'll probably be cringing about this whole post later but hey ho, it is what it is. 

  Cheerio :)