Friday, 16 January 2009

Stubborn Streak

Don't let the title fool you, it's not about an insistence on public nudity. No, it's the fact that there is a peculiar streak of stubbornness when it comes to the English and public transport. We are not a people given to acts of revolt - if something does not meet with our approval, we will not take this up as a call to arms; the response is more likely to be a resigned roll of the eyes heavenwards accompanied by a tutting of the tongue and a muttered "Typical." *

All of which was borne out by my journey home last night.** As I arrive at the station, an announcement is playing out over the PA system to the effect that "services are at a standstill due to a trespasser on the tracks between Waterloo and London Bridge" (that's pretty much word for word what they said - they're just a small step away these days from just saying, "Yeah, it's all just buggered, really"). They then go on to tell everyone that their tickets are valid on any other reasonable route to London bridge from whence train-style conveyances will carry you onwards to your desired destination (not their wording at all).

Does everyone start moving for the tube and bus? Do they buggery. Nope, they stand there in that stubbornly English way, arms metaphorically folded if not literally folded, as if to say, "Well, if I move, they'll only start running again." This despite the fact that no trains have left for 20 minutes so the backlog is getting pretty high.

So we may not be revolutionary but there is still a refusal to believe The Person In Authority.

Person In Authority:- "The trains aren't running."
British Public:- "We'll be the judge of that."

Gotta admire the sheer bloody-mindedness of it. However, the important question still remains - who was the trespasser, what was he doing on the tracks and why was it taking them over half an hour to catch him?

* The only exception to this being if anyone does anything to harm animals; woe betide that person for the full ire of the English will be turned upon them. We're a curious breed like that.

** I realise that this week is somewhat transport-heavy in blogging terms. Well, this is what happens when you resolve to post a blog a day and spend a fair chunk of your week in transit.

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