My head a splode

13 December, 2010

I think I finally figured out why I can’t handle London. I don’t have the right set of filters. Given that I can be happily absorbed by an interesting leaf for several minutes, London is an overwhelming firehose of information.

Consider a simple trip on the Tube, such as the one I made last weekend. There’s a guy dressed as a superhero for no obvious reason. There’s a woman with awesome hair reminding me of one of the Eternals. There are people reading and speaking languages I don’t recognise. There are warning notices plastered on every surface. There’s an announcement that this train is for Mordor*. There is a puzzling lack of g-forces** as we hurtle through wherever it is that we are. There’s a steampunk-style gauge for something on one of the seats that bears no relation to any observable phenomenon. There’s the trick Bill Bryson likes to play on unsuspecting non-Londoners***. These stations are old: which benches and tiles and noticeboards are original? Are the workers who installed them still alive? Where are we, anyway? How far underground? What else is down here?

And nobody else seems the slightest bit concerned by any of these things. In fact, nearly all of them have brought extra entertainment. The mind boggles.

* Wait, what?

** This, I am assured, is because of cant.

*** This bothers me: I might be doing this to myself and I’d never know.



  1. If I remember correctly you might have got on a northern line (black) train? I think thats the one that goes to mordon/Morrrrrrrrrdoorrrrrrrrr

    How was the tube surfing? I got pretty proficent on paddington to notting hill stretch.

    Oh that game works if you say get on at paadington and go to lancaster gate.

  2. You’d be surprised what’s down there….


  3. So wait, the lack of g-force on a normal train is not interesting? Besides it’s a metal cage, odd things that electrify your skin, stop phone signals and make exact copies of yourself to use in magic tricks happen in metal cages.

    Still, next time you’re in town, make an excuse to go the Waterloo & City since it’s essentially a rollercoaster.

    And you were defo on the Northern Line, it’s full of trendy Camdenites in superhero costumes. Meanwhile, Pirates travel on the Circle line and Monks on the Bakerloo.

    • I went on both of those too and I saw no Monks and no Pirates 😦

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