travelling on the train like I do almost every day I see a very wide selection of people. The train I take isn’t really like the commuter trains that go to London which carry predominantly suited and booted city workers.

As travel is so innexpensive ($10 return) we get a much wider cross section of the working population and a load more students, manual workers, trainees, people of no fixed abode etc. More like the tube perhaps than main line “British Rail”

And this brings an interesting social statification observation.

With this increased diversity seems to come an increased ambivalance to personal hygine.

In short, the train here is a bit like the tube in London and can get a bit on the fragrant side. With high average temperatures here (in the 30’s for the summer) the problem is somewhat noticable.

So bad in some cases that its verging on a chemical or biological attack.

Anyway, without carrying a can of deoderant about, theres not much that can be done.

So, moving on, or not, as the case may be.

Escalators, dual carriageways, thouroughfares.

Theres an accepted practice of standing on the right letting people walk up or down faster on an escalator in the UK – its the other side here, which makes more sense actually – its like the traffic, pass to the right – and its always worked fine (a few tourists and people that stick out a bit further than others excepted) – only it doesnt here.

Despite signs, theres *always* someone who just stands there and blocks the right lane for people who want to walk up. Same with stairs, corridors etc. And more dangerously, on the roads too. Its in the highway code, there are signs everywhere, but no, people here just drive where they like -hey, theres two lanes, pick one. maddening if they’re toodling along at 20k below the limit.

I dont think its a deliberate must just be one of those things that you kind of grow up doing until it becomes norm, like mainland Europeans never stopping at zebra crossings for pedestrians (so whats the point in having them?). You never notice these things until you actually live in another country.

My point? I wonder what us Brits do in day to day life that confuse foreigners? Apart from queuing, that is – its well known that we’re the only nation that will self regulate an orderly access to something with no problems, well, that is unless you’re getting onto a train/plane, where all bets are off and elbows are valid means of entry.

Man this was a rambling bunch of nonsene.

Got the stereo set up finally and found a tape of my old band – we sounded awful! Although I do a killer mounrnful guitar solo on one of the songs. I’m a musical genius, what else can be said. I’m putting the wrong chord in the 2nd bar of song number three down to “creative differences”


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