Imagine being packed into a sardine can shoulder-to-shoulder with hot air blowing on you despite the heat outside. Add in egregious noise and remove all manners. That is your typical peak London commute.
Thankfully during this internship I have been lucky enough to travel at less-peak times. I try to get into work early and I leave a bit later for many reasons (but definitely not trying to be THAT Intern). Door-to-door my commute is 40 minutes assuming I catch the train just right. I walk to the tube, hop on one-line and sit down for a dozen stops, and then walk to work. Most days. I’ve used this system to get through 4 books this summer.
Some days I get finished with a meeting at the client site and we decide to leave and go home to finish somethings up. At 5:30pm at a central tube stop that mixes tourists and commuters. That requires me to transfer lines, take a bus, or walk 25 minutes. Literally I had to queue up outside the station to get into the station. I may have been able to walk home faster than it took to get into the station. And then when I finally got onto a train the elbows digging into my kidneys were just unacceptable.
Is this how it normally is? My experience so far has only really been DC & SF which is crowded but only this bad for things like the inauguration, pride, and that time Jon Stewart & Stephen Colbert took over the National Mall. It honestly shaped my entire view on London in an instant. Enough that I am going to work as hard as I can to live on the same line as my work or close enough to it that I don’t have to transfer. Or better yet, somewhere I can walk to work in a not unreasonable amount of time.
It may end up being expensive but it is going to be worth it. … assuming I get the job, take the job, and can get a visa in this crazy world we are now living in.