Lost in London!

Left home at 11:07 am today, with the sun shining brightly and when I got back home it was 4:45 pm, nearly pitch dark and I was drenched and cold.

I could’ve kissed the floor of my university (if it hadn’t been so wet and dirty!) in relief.

Six hours is not long enough for me to feel such extreme emotions for a building but here’s why.

I spent two hours traveling to bricklane for a vintage fashion fair and another 30 minutes locating the place because strangely enough, not even the people that owned stalls outside the place knew where it was!

On the way back I lost my way on the tube, had to change three lines, get a bus and finally walk to my university.

Native Londoners complain about the transport in London all the time. They say the trains don’t run on time, the cabs are too expensive and the traffic is crazy.

I’m from Mumbai where the traffic is worse; the trains not only don’t run on time but also are so full of people that getting flung out is a very real possibility.

After 2 months in London I learnt my way around the streets and the tube map became easy enough to follow.

I would still pick Mumbai’s unorganized system over this one.

Ask me why? Its because while the tubes exists they decide to take weekends off. They have ‘planned construction’ delays and blocks.

Being a student the weekend is my only time to explore London and I cannot afford the exorbitant cab fares nor is my weekend long enough to endure three hours of London traffic to get somewhere.

Then the fabulous Directions.

People are helpful its true, very but whether the directions actually help is debatable. “Xx street is off abc road”. Now what in god’s name is ‘off’ supposed to mean? Is it at the end of the road or in a lane on the road?

Another one,’”Walk a considerable distance, look on your right and left then ask someone else.”

‘”Its round the corner’” is another gem. I think, the corner of the road in front of me, behind me or the side?

In Mumbai I longed for an organized transport system, as I didn’t realize the value of having trains, taxis, buses and autos at my disposal albeit a bit disorganised.

Here in London if I want to get somewhere all that’s really dependable and affordable are my two strong legs, as even though it’s organized enough to inform the public about transport issues really, how does that help?

Photo: – http://photobucket.com/images/uken35677/

Published in: on November 14, 2010 at 7:32 pm  Comments (7)  
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7 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I challenge u chAndni. Do one week in mumBai of no taxi and no driver just BEST and western railwAys 3rd class . …. And going to at least one place a day u have never been to before!!!

  2. Mumbai has good transport system. If you see it has been modeled according to the transport system here. Like London, Mumbai has red buses and trains. The tube (called metro) is under consteuction in Mumbai. The engineering works here are planned to ensure smooth running of trains during the week when people actually need to use them. Mumbai does not have planned engineering work. They cancel trains for no apparent reason and then there are scrambles on the platform.TFL has the decency to inform and have replacement services. The transport system in London is very easy to understand for a first timer. A first timer in Mumbai won’t even know which bus or train to take. Routes and timings are not displayeds properly. If they are, they will be in Marathi. Taxi drivers in Mumbai are bad. They will literally take you for a ride or refuse to pls. Traffic in london is more organised. You will not encounter road rage.

  3. So true… At least we have more options… and things are sooooo much cheaper… N we have the luxury of getting out of home n getting into an auto or cab!

  4. Hi Chandni, I must say that there are advantages in both worlds. I dont think either one is better or could even be compared as equals. Although, UK appears to be organized, civilized etc. I wonder how it would be if you increase the population about 6 times to match with Mumbai. Lets look at the civilization and organization then, and see how the GENTLEMEN handle that. Although, there are differences I think I would go with Mumbai anyday. For one major difference…PEOPLE IN MUMBAI (majority of them) HAVE A HEART – THEY HAVE COMPASSION AND ARE ABLE TO FEEL FOR OTHERS. I find that missing (for the most part) in any of the western city. Perfect example being – Accidents on highways are more of a nuisance to us since it is delaying us from getting where we need to be, rather than feeling compassion for the person that might be hurt…
    I will take Aamchi Mumbai over the Queens Civilized London where people seem as cheerful as its weather…
    Sorry, if I offend anyone…but Londoners need a lot more Sunshine to warm-up their hearts..

  5. Anjali,
    You have been lucky enough to spend most of your weekends OUT of london but if you try spending one weekend here you will end up spending a good 2-3 hours travelling to get to a place and another 1-2 hrs coming back and barely any time at the actual place you wanted to visit. So while the system is “organised” enough to warn you in advance i dont think a majority of people can afford cars or cabs and like it or not, the weekend is a chance when most people get the chance to relax and want to do things after being stuck at work all week.
    I have a horrible sense of direction and I find it easier to travel in Mumbai rather than here.
    Yes, Kamal i agree with you Mumbai’s population makes transport a larger problem but the city is still surviving, a fact that mumbaikar’s themselves seem to ignore.

  6. weekends are the only time they can improve the services when people actually need to use it during the week to go to work. if they suspend services during the week people would not be able to get to work

  7. Well written

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