Tube Tales

A long tube journey. Some interesting characters.

First, a man who reeks of first-date overindulgence of cheap cologne.

Replaced by two teenage boys with top hats, singing Chelsea fan songs in Italian.

Followed by a small Asian woman going down the pages of a notebook with a pen, writing the answers to simple sums as quickly as possible.

Then, two young chavvy boys with thick Scottish accents. One decides to read a few sentences of my book out loud over my shoulder. My book is called 253 by Geoff Ryman, about people on a Bakerloo train from Waterloo to Elephant and Castle. I ignore him.

Later, a family with a bundle of balloons, a baby carriage, and a copy of the Financial Times. The baby sits on his mother’s lap whimpering quietly. Across the aisle, the father opens the FT. His other son, about four-years-old, hides behind the paper and then peeks around, looks at me with big brown eyes and mouths “hi!” Then he hides again. Then peeks out, waves, giggles, hides… This carries on until I get off the train with a grin.