I overheard two staff members talking in the hotel the other day, the subject of choice was “poor Julie”, her terrible experience and how to avoid it. From the snippets that I overheard I gathered that Julie was a similar age to the two women that were talking, around mid thirties. It was clear from the conversation that whilst they sympathised with their friend and her ordeal she had rather ‘asked for it’. What decadence had she failed at? Well she had used the metro. It’s true, in 2013 this mid thirty year old woman had dared to use the London metro. Having made her way to London she had made the mistake of thinking that there was only one underground line.
Having made her way to the Victoria line and discovered that it did not include her destination on its route she was faced with a dilemma. Apparently the ‘logical’ answer was to board anyway and then follow the crowds. Now a top tip for anyone reading is that if you follow the crowds, wait for it, you will end up at the same place as the crowds. Having realised that all of London was not heading to her chosen destination she alighted and sought assistance. Unfortunately our visitor was not educated in the multicultural ‘language’ of the city and couldn’t understand the instructions that she was given. After a couple of hours of travelling subterranean London she found her terminus station and returned, distressed and exhausted, home.
You may think that I was in some odd enclave still awaiting electricity but I wasn’t. I have heard stories similar to this many times over the years, I recall friends telephoning in crisis because they have got lost on the circle line. It should also be noted that the two women that I overheard were both convinced that it was their friends error for venturing into town. I can’t help questioning how these people live their lives, not because they don’t understand the metro but because they give up. Having travelled all the way to London metro confusion causes you to return home and great-aunt Mildred doesn’t get a visit, why? Sure it takes some figuring but tying shoe laces was once more mystifying than the theory of time travel and you mastered that didn’t you. Where do these people think that we obtain ‘metro knowledge’ from, do they think that as children we are taken further and further away from home and made to find our way back? Are they bemoaning the lack of a ‘metro navigation’ course at the local college?
The human race is built on tenacity and refusal to surrender to what appears impossible so why are there some people who have lost this. Is this some confusion or mutation of evolution perhaps? I think that it is actually an extension of survival of the fittest, when the zombies come I am heading straight for the metro whilst these guys present themselves as snack food!
For those that are keeping an eye on the status of my life I must advise, with some sadness and a lot of frustration, that it remains stoically on hold. Despite three weeks of nervous phone calls and a challenging diary I am no further forward. I have no real estimates at the moment and judging by the language of my counsel I understand he is also no wiser, we all await some sort of update next week when the civil servants return to work.