28 December 2007

Going underground

Twenty minutes until the next westbound Circle line train, the announcer says. Another symptom of the country on its Christmas break. Only a handful of people on the platform: only a handful of people working today. So what to do? District line to Earl's Court and backtrack? Traipse to the Bakerloo line (and probably find worse delays there)?
Twenty minutes before the train appears, then twenty minutes travelling on it, might not be much different from taking the Circle line the other way, so I crossed over and took an eastbound train. (As it pulled in, two foreign tourists recorded this momentous event one on video and the other using a still camera which, predictably and in defiance of the poorly-advertised rule, discharged a flash into the eyes of the driver, who shook his head sadly.)
On the eastbound train, where a hopeful traveller interrupts Glazunov 5 to ask me if the train goes to Tower Hill ("It says via Liverpool Street." "That's two stations before Tower Hill: it can't not go there!" How does he imagine the Circle line works?), I count the stations: eight stops to St James's Park anticlockwise, whereas this way it's 19. Whether I am saving time will be a close call, and probably not the most important thing that will happen today.

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