Thursday, June 19, 2008

Notes on the Underground

Five hours in London between flights, and I decided to ride The Tube. There really wouldn't be time for anything much beyond that, but wouldn't that make the trip worthwhile? Living the life of a London commuter, minding the gap with the best of them?

It was actually a little bit of fun, even if I did get some funny looks because the quaint voice of the announcer kept making me spontaneously smile. But the experience was also a little worrisome: the smallness of the Underground car couldn't help but make me realize that Londoners too, not just their modes of transportation, are smaller than we are.
Every time I ride the NYC subway, I become worried because of how large we've gotten: large enough that only a small percentage of riders seem to fit within the confines of one seat. Even with my sample size of 2 hours on the tube, it seems clear that Londoners are managing the challenges of life with supersized fast food and little time for exercise better than Americans.
Maybe if we shrink down our public transportation we'll force ourselves to shrink too...?

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