A Little Perspective*

Disgruntled as I am, it’s starting to bug me when people go on about the UK having a third world transport system, and not just because that’s my job. It usually comes from people who have never been near the third world, or if they have the closest they got to any public transport was having their shiny safari vehicle cut up the local bus service on the way to the game park. Bad as the trains might be even in London, before reaching for the lazy cliche’d comparison, just ask yourself when was the last time you had to travel on the roof of the train? Or share a carriage with livestock that didn’t, on closer inspection, turn out to in fact be a bunch of teenagers with bad facial piercings? Or get thrown off the train – that’s thrown off not as in ejected from the train while it was standing in the station, but thrown off as in fatally thrown from a moving train by gangs who also set light to trains as they leave the station. At least, that was what I was going to write about today, having seen the reference to the last incident in the papers yesterday. But then I read about this, at the station my brother-in-law regularly uses on his way home from work and I began to wonder just how different we really were …

* not too much, obviously. Let’s be sensible here. As soon as I, personally, am inconvenienced I shall be back frothing at the mouth as usual …

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3 responses to “A Little Perspective*

  1. A marvellous introduction to a blog entry, starting with your moniker. Yes, the phrase “third world transport system” when used to describe the Paris Metro, the Subway in New York or the London Underground rings unhappily hollow.
    I read the first article you linked to in your entry – it seeems like the SATAWU are getting aggressive with union pickets try to enforce the stoppage. Kind of like our version of Bob Crow, I guess but (astonishingly) less likeable.
    Islington. I used to live there years ago when I lived in London. It happened at quite a busy time – I hope he’s caught. Soon.
    Great entry.

  2. It’s a bit like moaning about bad weather in this country. We never seem to really appreciate what it can be like elsewhere in the world.
    The incident you mention at the end is worrying, but thankfully still a relatively rare occurrence.

  3. pedant – thanks. Astonishing as it may seem to my regular readers I do try and craft these dribblings (Although I realised after I posted this entry that I missed a trick not titling it ‘throw Momma from the train’)
    Flighty – true it is still rare, although our guests did see the news and found it a little worrying … I think they may think they _have_ ended up in third world country

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