I’m a Londoner born and bred. For anyone that has been around London and known the industry that I work in, you’ll understand that this is quite rare. I must spend 65% of my day on the underground, running around in every weather.
1. Try and avoid rush hour. Rush hour in London is between 7am-9.30am and 5pm-7pm give or take. There are busier tube lines than others. If you want travel without unbearable heat, body odour and invasion of personal space, I’d suggest planning your day outside of these times.
2. Avoid eye contact and definitely don’t speak to anyone. It’s the unspoken rule of the underground. I broke it once and it didn’t end well. You get all kinds of crazy on the tube, and remember you’re trapped in a carriage, in a tunnel…
3. If you really wanna travel around like a proper Londoner, you must always be in a rush. Do everything at pace. And definitely huff and puff if you get stuck behind slow walkers, or even worse, those unprepared people at the barriers. You had a whole train ride to get your Oyster card ready and you waited till you got to the barrier before looking for it… Don’t be that person.
4. Whilst sat on the tube, you’ll more than likely find that everyone has done a firm study of the person’s opposites shoes. For instance, right now this woman is sporting shiny, silver, boat shoes with a black scratch mark from her big toe to the ball of her foot. I’ve no idea what her face looks like.
5. Download the tube app on your phone. Because tourists who have no idea where they’re going are more frustrating than sitting on chewing gum.