One of the things that make me laugh here in London is the syndrome of "strike-panic". You must know what I mean: people going mad the day before a planned strike, flooding the TFL website to try to figure out "alternative routes" to a route they make every single day and should know how to replace anyway; bosses asking every single employee if they are coming to work the next day, as if the city will be isolated in an hermetic plastic bubble; companies emailing every 10 minutes to remind workers there is a strike and it is "very important to try our best to come to work, even if a little bit late".
This syndrome is also well observed on the actual day of the strike, when 60% of the familiar faces in the station are missing (either went earlier or didn't bother to go at all); the pushing and shoving inside the train is up 25% even though the train is 40% emptier; the 100-metre dash as soon as the doors open at the end station; the sadness in people's faces as they are resigned to wait for a bus together with dozens of others, just to arrive at work and hear that there were actually 9 out of 11 lines working, even if with delays and not stopping everywhere.
As for me, I caught the exact same train but instead of making my way to Victoria (which I knew was going to be chaos on Earth - it always is, strike or no strike) I changed at Clapham Junction to Waterloo. There, I made my way on foot across the lovely Waterloo Bridge and straight into Covent garden, next door to where I work. It took me less 10 minutes than on a "normal", no-strike day, when I commute by tube from Victoria.
PS - I laugh at these panic inducing London strikes because I always lived in Lisbon and often experienced transport strikes. I laugh because when I was 17 there was a transport strike on the day I had exams. And I had to walk to and from my school, which took me more than 45 minutes each way. Lisbon does not have a transport grid like London. When there are no buses, for example, you go nowhere except on foot! When there is no underground (and it does not even cover the entire city anyway), the few buses are packed and you end up walking. London people are spoilt for alternatives... but still they winge!!!
2 days ago