Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Day Travelcard 1-4. Believe it or not.
I had to go up to Newspaper Library at Collindale today. You probably don't know where it is but I do't either. The tube is a very strange way to travel; one seems to emerge out of darkness in unexpected places. It completely mangles your sense of geography.
It's like being beamed somewhere, only it takes longer, and is done in a carriage full of strangers. Plus beaming is less expensive I believe.

I think Collindale is on the North Circular, that mythical boundary of London: again, I have no idea of its route, since my car-experience of London is limited to 4-5 stressful and unfortunate house moves. But the North Circular sounds esoteric, I'm sure it follows some ancient energy lines and involves free-masonry town-planning. Let's put it this way: it's far north. Zone four (ZONFOR in some dialects).

* * *

Coming back on the tube I recalled what Tanya said to me four years ago about adverts on the tube. She said only very specific things are advertised inside the carriages:

* Flu, cold, congestion and fatigue relief - instant magic medications to make you feel better, and more importantly, able to work
* Cheap international phone deals
* Loans - re-mortgaging your house to be even more in debt.
* Cheap travel packages

In short, if you're on the tube, very likely you're: seriously ill but have to work / foreign to this place and want to call home / dying to escape to somewhere sunny / desperately thinking up ways to get easy money / all of the above.

Not much has changed in that respect. There's far less loan adverts; people are a bit more careful with money than they were around 2000. A lot of internet-related things. Unlike the Cinema or the newspapers, there's absolutely no ads for cars.

Strangely, once you're out of the carriages, the adverts change; the escalators and tunnels are a brave new world of opportunities: perfumes and clothes, movies and West-End shows. London as you thought it would be. London which exists nowhere, and everywhere.

* * *

Warren St. loudspeakers: "Please assist us in keeping the underground clean. Help us by taking your litter home with you."
Fair enough.

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