So for anyone who works or lives in London, you will of course have experienced some form of the tube strikes.
Believe it or not, this isn’t the first time I have experienced strikes. I lived in Brazil in the lead up to the Football World Cup 2014 – I can happily blame the state of my dissertation on football, and not in a good way.
I have heard and sort of been affected by strikes here but it’s never been too much of an issue. Monday was a very insightful day for me however… And it went a little something like this.
- I left the house, I was feeling productive.
- Oh! My local tube station is closed. Wow! There really must be a strike. I don’t really want to go home, let’s go on an adventure!
- Arrive at alternate station down the road, this is fun, but lol at classic me wanting to have an adventure on a strike day.
- “Next Eastbound train will arrive in three minutes” – Great! In London time that’s on time anyway!
- (Half an hour later) Wow! So half the stations are closed including all the major ones… Boi I sure hope Liverpool Street is open. I’m already having to walk to Shoreditch.
- Boom! Liverpool Street is open! On to Shoreditch, it’s been a while since I discovered a new place to work.
- Made it to the Ace Hotel! Wow it’s super trendy. *Goes about business*
- Looks at clock and realises it would probably be wise to get going before rush hour. After all, it did take twice as long to get here.
- Half an hour later “I HATE the Circle and District Lines!!” No matter how hard I try, I somehow still end up getting on the wrong train. I ended up further east.
- Gets on next District back west. I have to be on a call in twenty minutes and I am still out at Tower Hill… I better not be late.
- I jump out at Monument – because I have no idea when I will next get the chance – to ask the nice man for his recommended directions. He tells me my best option is to get a bus…!? Are you tripping!? There’s a strike going on, EVERYTHING is gridlocked, I actually want to get home tonight and you’re telling me to get a bus! No thanks!
- 3:01pm: I am somewhere under Mansion House, my call got disconnected and I have no idea when I will be allowed out of this tin can. WTF!? How can you suspend so much access for a human being!? This is ridiculous!
- *Several stops go by and we’re still not getting off anywhere* Look, I get it, you people are upset because some big bad people cut your jobs. Get mad but don’t take it out on us!? We got **** to do! This is not good for my productivity… I have commit – WHY THE HELL CAN I STILL NOT GET OFF THIS TUBE!?
- At Earl’s Court: ok, so I’ve missed my call. Now what!? I could walk 40 minutes to get home, but just to check I’ll ask the nice man what he thinks.
- “Go to West Brompton, and get the Overgound”. Wait. What!? The Overground has been open all this time…
- FREEDOM IS JUST AROUND THE RIVER BEND!!
- Oh my god I think I might make it home before rush hour!
- Finally out on the other side of the barrier. I get home like:
It was an experience, that’s for sure and watching footage of the strikes was crazy!
So for a first timer getting caught up in strikes, here are a couple of tips I bequeath unto you:
- If you can avoid the strikes – no matter how much you wanted to take on an adventure – avoid them! Productive day over travel stress trumps in my books. And I love a good adventure!
- Trust your instincts. Just because a person wears the official badge doesn’t mean they know best *all* of the time. I am so happy I stuck to my guns and got back on the District Line, then asked for advice again as I would have probably gone to Hammersmith and got a bus – and that would have meant another couple of hours of unnecessary travel.
- Planning is key. Don’t be naive and check if you will be affected. Download Citymapper and also have the TFL website open to search for updates on each station. This helped me a lot.
Got any other advice? Care to swap tips?