OPINION: Perils of morning rush hour travel in London

Friday August 9 2019



Freddy Macha

Freddy Macha 

What happens when things do not function properly?

Last week we showed how humans behave. Some walking texting and watching movies and blocking pathways. Then getting upset when tapped on the shoulder. To be honest its 21st blindness.

We are not here to mock people with real disability. Not that. But humans claiming to be sane yet are not aware of where they are physically? Add the spectre of Marijuana smoking. Here we need to pause for a second.

Fifty years ago people smoked real Marijuana - then called Pot, Ganja and all sorts of names. These days the big drug selling gangsters are mixing chemicals with grass and the result is serious mental illness. Ask the drug takers and they will list ten reasons of why smoking this rubbish is good for you. Even rich countries are legalising it and newspapers and experts discussing how to make insanity legal. And we are supposed to cheer! Soon it might be introduced to Africa. Just like some other perils of “progress” have been copied and pasted.

Africa!

One of the most naturally rich gardens on planet earth turned into junk files.

Cities and people have shunned away from being natural. Being natural is boring. Add the pollution and the rush- rush- rush to earn money to pay rent and bills and what else?

In earnest, that is London.

A few months ago a celebrity said if you want to recognise a Londoner, just walk down a narrow road. Or a side street. Watch a group of people talking. You might have a luggage. They won’t let you pass. Or take a massive bag of items. Match on. Think pedestrians from the opposite direction will let you through?

Think so?

You are the one with the heavy load. You are the idiot who has to saunter and meander around them like the River Nile and the Hippopotamus. That is one way of recognising a Londoner. So the lady watching a movie on the phone and not letting you pass despite obstructing other morning hurrying commuters, is claiming her right. Her space.

What do you say to that?

There is another angle as well.

Besides people, there are the actual perils and hazards of our journeys. The ups and downs of a morning rush safari.

The most comfortable travel is a personal car.

Nevertheless, beware of traffic and road rage. Yes. There are a many stories of road rage. Like the chap on a Pikipiki we saw last week. He made the error and yet he was the one cursing the driver. Who kept cool. Yes. Keeping cool is the wisest method of survival in London. Shout back. Point a finger back. Retaliate and you are in trouble with a capital T. Of course you can easily retaliate. Who has never done that?

But consequences my sister. Consequences dear fiend and friends.

“...Life is very short

And there is no time ahh

For fussing and fighting.”

Sang the Beatles in the 1960s

Yes, the Beatles are still listed as the most well known band in the world and they recorded their most famous music in London. At Abbey Road Studios, north London...

So imagine you are in North London, going towards the South. You woke up early. 5 am. Had a hurried breakfast. First trains start running 5.30 am.

You were here at 6 am. You boarded the train. Mmmh... The train was not moving. Then the speakers announced the train was not going to move. The speakers made apologies. So you waited. Five minutes later another broadcast. You looked at the time. Almost 6.16am. Time is money in the rich world. Time is sacred in Wazungu land. Your mind was racing. Get out and catch a bus?

Buses are cheaper and better but they get held in traffic.

However....

They are many and do run better. Trains are faster though. Faster than cars even.

“We are sorry to say this train has been cancelled. Someone jumped on the track. We are waiting for further instructions from the police...”

And this is one of the most occurring episodes. Folk throwing themselves under train tracks.

A month ago a young 14 year old boy hurled himself on a fast oncoming train, and died instantly. This was in front of his fellow pupils. Can you imagine the distress of youngsters watching their mate committing suicide?

Last week a 19 year old European student is alleged to have thrown herself from a plane in Madagascar while doing research on crabs.

Is this normal that so many young people from developing nations are getting affected by stress? Stress used to be a word associated with mature adults with families to feed and debts to pay...