Travelling light, smelling alright

Posted on April 1, 2011


Most of the underground network gets very sweaty and very uncomfortable, moreso than just the seating arrangements, in the summertime. And I am embarking on a plan to reduce its affect on me where possible.

1) Take buses. While this isn’t a philosophy that can stand the test of time on every occasion, notably during rush hour on a warm morning, as arguably buses are more of a bane than the tube, to sneak home often a bus will provide more comfort and definitely more value for money. It may take longer, but you get to take in more light, and more of the wonderful city. And they tend to be cooler; the windows actually provide some ventilation!

2) Avoid the dodgy lines. The Victoria and Jubilee lines are currently undergoing substantial redevelopment and the chances of getting stuck underground on one of these entities is unnecessarily high. If you can avoid taking a route that requires one of these then I would urge you to do so. Perhaps by jumping on a bus (but not underneath one – life’s not that unbearable on the underground just yet).

3) Try to work from home, or don’t travel during peak hours. This would essentially be the dream opportunity, to have a say on whether or not you were going to bother to get out of your pyjamas, but in addition to enjoying a more pleasant onward journey the costs are slightly reduced. Every little helps.

Handheld fans divide opinion

4) Buy an electric handheld fan. They are a good way to cool you down and often those sitting/squished beside you benefit as well.

5) Don’t buy an electric handheld fan. You look like a twat and people resent you for having the foresight to do so, or remember where you left last year’s purchase. Plus when the batteries run out you are ridiculed by your fellow commuters.

6) Don’t wear a coat. Or too many other layers. I’ve referred to this before as part of the etiquette of the underground, written shortly after the summer had flown south for the winter, but it’s even more important to remember now. I had a blazer on this morning, pretty standard, but I sweltered away like a tomato waiting to become officially sun-dried. It’s not worth the hassle or the sweat patches.

These six rules should get you through the season, but if not please enlighten me as to what next for our interpid underground adventures.