Admittedly the jet lag can do strange things to your mind and body but riding the London underground from Heathrow into North London was an adventure of lunatic proportions. People spilled into the train at every station and 30 minutes into the hour-long journey some stranger was pushing their rear anatomy into my weary face as Londoners push the boundaries of public transport to its limits.
With every extra person boarding the train the temperature seemed to rise by about 2 degrees. Oxygen was getting in short supply until we reached Kings Cross Station and the masses peeled themselves apart and disembarked. For those of us remaining we breathed normally for a moment before a new flood of humanity swept in to take its space. It’s not until you rise above ground and breathe in fresh air again are you relieved of the lunacy of it all.
Taking the London Underground during peak commuting hours is madness at the best of times but in summer lugging large bits of luggage having just travelled across the globe is a huge test of your physical and mental well-being. This of course was not my plan. Had I arrived as scheduled into London it would have been a gentle ride in off peak travel hours making it part of the travel adventure not a psychosocial endurance test.
And to think that I used to endure subterranean London as an essential part of my working life. It’s enough to make you run away to the other side of the world.