Okay. The morning commute is starting to get to me. The First Great Western train is okay. The Bakerloo line is okay. But there is something strange about the Jubilee Line. . .
Yesterday morning, as a stand on a severely overcrowded train with my face in a man’s armpit, I watched a guy in a camouflage coat and mesh camouflage cap being annoyed with a fully-suited banker and they bump into each other each time the train rocks. I had never seen anyone where camouflage in London (aside from the military)?which he definitely wasn’t (blue jeans and curly blond hair). I wonder if he was going hunting at some far outskirt of the tube line.
In the corner of my eye, I can see a man standing next to me reading and . . . trying to get something out of his nose. This turns my stomach like nothing else. He uses his knuckle and tries to be sly about it, but I’m trying with all my might to focus my attention away from him. Suddenly I start thinking about the yellow bar above my head that I’m clinging to and wonder how much this guy’s hands have been on it. Then I wonder what other germs are on this train.
Soon, I can’t stop thinking about germs and the nose guy. I put my gloves on. I start thinking about the people you always see in Asia with the doctor’s masks out in public and how excessive it seems. I wish I had one of those. I also wonder how long I can keep up with the gloves on the tube without it starting to look weird.
I suppose I have a choice, leave the commuting lifestyle or join the ranks of the grey-haired, scowling, old men reading the FT and resigned to the fact that delays, crowds, and nose pickers are a fact of life.