March 18, 2006

Mickey Mouse and my adventures in the Tube System of Doom

So my 48 hours in the London area triggered off the Parisian that seems to have been growing inside me without my knowledge. It started the ULTIMATE BATTLE:




It is that most highly anticipated of fights – Transport for London against RATP, the Tube against the météor – the London Underground versus the Paris Metropolitain.

What started this train of thought? Well, I couldn't really put my finger on it. Was it when I tried to use the ticket Mum bought me the night before to save time and I couldn't cos it wasn't the 16th any more?

Was it when I paid 3 sodding quid for a single ticket?

Maybe when I had to wait 15 minutes for a train to arrive in rush hour?

Or was it when I hopped on the Tube to go to Disney HQ in Hammersmith only for a polite female voice to announce that "this is the Circle line". Circle? What happened to the District Line?! Why the bloody hell do trains from 2 different lines arrive on the same platform!!!

Like I said, the Parisian inside me has burst forth to do what Parisians do best – moan about pretty much anything. But don't get me wrong. I was born in London. Over a decade in Yorkshire has made me slightly wary of its aura of pollution and £10 coffees but time in Paris has brought back some of my affection for the place. Also, as a French student, it is my duty to love them. But come on guys, the Tube is a joke compared to the Metro which is: Faster. More frequent. More reliable. More extensive. More flexible (tickets are valid until they're used, not on one day). And did I mention it's 3 times cheaper?

OK, that's more than enough French praise for one entry. Did I mention a bar tried to charge me over £10 for a vodka & coke last weekend?

Anyways…back to my encounter with His Disneyness, Sir Mickey of Mouse. The day was great fun. The 90-minute presentation at the start had all the marketing gloss that you would expect from the marketing monolith that is Disney but by God it did the job. Everyone, including me, was foaming at the mouth by the end. I've never been so excited at the prospect of working 40 hours a week in my life. Interview was OK (and almost French-free…) Now follows a 2-week wait before I find out if I have beaten the 10–1 odds and get to go to Florida for 3 months. Keep your fingers crossed – this is my one chance in a lifetime to get a tan, I need 3 months of sunshine exposure to get beyond the lily-white stage.

- 4 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. fred

    "Why the bloody hell do trains from 2 different lines arrive on the same platform!!!"

    Because some lines share sections of track.

    19 Mar 2006, 18:04

  2. Ah, but who has the prettier tube map? Some might say there are more important attributes for a metro system (such as speed, efficiency and value for money) but you've got to admit london underground has the edge there. On the disruptions caused by les greves we're probably about even these days.

    20 Mar 2006, 01:46

  3. fred

    Ours has animals

    20 Mar 2006, 22:24

  4. WOW…animals on the Tube!! That's AMAZING!! I will admit the Tube map is prettier…but there's a GARDEN in Gare de Lyon when you get off the Metro!! This is an important consideration I feel….

    20 Mar 2006, 22:28

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