The London Underground truly is an amazing thing. The only reason I can think of for why it's so hot down there is that it's closer to the Earth's core than I'm used to being.
Today I caught the tube down to Canary Wharf for the FIRST DAY OF MY NEW JOB (that's another story) ! Oh damn, I put an exclamation mark in there prematurely – that sentence wasn't supposed to end so quickly. What I *meant* to say was that I caught the tube to Canary Wharf, and because it was peak hour I got to experience my first truly crammed train episode.
Catching the tube, I've decided, is a bit like taking an elevator. Obviously not *much* like that, because your vertical displacement isn't that great, and you don't have to push a button to tell it where you want to stop, and nobody ever gets the compulsion to make stupid department store jokes (e.g. “Next stop, Paddington. Ladies' Underwear.”). Probably the only ways in which it is similar to a lift are that you have to cram in closely with a bunch of people, and nobody talks. It's quite odd – each carriage probably has about 60 people (maybe ?), and they're all doing their darndest not to make eye contact with each other. So very strange. Some people stare at the advertisements on the wall/ceiling intently for the entire journey, as if it's some Shakespearean text that they're trying to decipher and interpret. Others look at the Tube Diagram with an interest and ferocity that makes me think maybe they're planning a summer vacation down there and have to memorise all the names of the stations they want to visit so they can go home and tell their families that night.
Oh yes, the heat. Maybe I should take my little thermometer-clock-alarm-thingo down there tomorrow and see what's actually going on, but I distinctly get the feeling that the People In Charge have decided it's cheaper to keep feeding tree trunks into the gigantic subterranean furnace all year round than it is to have to hire a special fire-lighting expert once a year to arc it up before winter. This morning it was so hot that I had to stop off and buy a new shirt on the way to the office because mine had gone see-through with perspiration (and THERE'S a special mental image for you !).
Now, speaking of work, the most overwhelming thing about my first day was getting used to the coffee machines. Initially, it took every ounce of self control I had not to bark “Earl Grey, HOT !” at them (ooooh boy, that's not gonna make any sense to you non Star Trek types out there). After I'd tasted the quality of the beverage they produced they made me think more of the drinks dispensers from Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
I'll try to remember to take my camera along tomorrow and get a couple of photos of my building… although if tomorrow's anything like today then I probably won't be able to see my building from any further than about 8 feet away. Top weather, if you're a duck !
Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! I've got a job !