Seems like it's time to start complaining about something of London, as sml asks for ;). I have been trying to find something to be my target, and finally I decided that what annoys me most is the Circle Line (from the Tube also known as the underground). First we must examine some facts about the Circle Line and why has a poor service: it shares the rails with lots of other lines at most of its lenght, and also the rails cross other rails at lots of stations... so it needs to be even slower to avoid any accident.
At certain stations (and specifically as I have experienced by myself) as for example Edgware Road, the train even stops for at least 5 minutes, while there other trains using its tracks. So you are there stopped in the middle of your way home/work, unable to do anything.
But I think we [or I] could live with it if it wasn't by other problems:
- the trains are horribly slow (but still they manage to shake a lot - I don't know how they do that!)
- the trains are old and noisy!! you can end up turning the volume almost to the maximum in your ipod and still won't listen to the music :-S
- this line is crowded most of the time (because is quite convenient and connects lots of important stations all around the centre of London ... they called it Circle Line for a certain reason, don't you think?).
- When the train is crowded, you painfully find that there's almost no place to hold yourself. There are some bars near the doors but they have a very small space between them and the door so usually the bar is covered by the person next to it. What can you do then? You then look desperately upwards, somehow praying to find something to allow you to not fall over the people around you when then you see there are bars in the roof! What a stupid idea is this one? I personally don't reach those bars, I am not very tall (I think am starting to assume it, I still had the hope to keep growing some years ago but that idea it's fading slowly in my mind...) so I keep looking around and find there is another bar just a bit lower than the roof ones. So I end holding that bar, with great pain in my completely extended arm, hanging like a fish (or a pork leg, in a Spanish manner), and keep praying for the travel to finish.
For some strange reason, these trains do stink 90% of the time. I don't understand why, but first sensation you get when entering inside is: whoooo this is disgusting... booo!Sometimes it is like if someone had cooked some food inside (and left the rests there), other times is like if they have done sport inside (maybe a train hijack? gosh! I never find anything like that to tell to my friends!) and all the sweat remained in the train, and finally other times it simply is an annoying smell.
To make it worse, this line is not purely underground. There are lots of areas in which the train goes open air. And that can only mean something in summer: HOT TRAINS! Because as London does not have too many very warm days a year, public transport has not air conditioned (at least on the old vehicles... which are the 95% of them). So you have to travel in a noisy smelly line which runs quite slowly, stops at random stations for a random period of time, hanging from a bar like if you were paying for something bad you did, and to make it more funny, people around you is sweating A LOT - and A LOT means they need to dry their sweat constantly with whatever they have, otherwise it slips and everything gets wet.
Luckily since I moved to this flat I don't use to travel in the Circle Line because I have a very good alternative: the Central Line, which is incredibly fast (specially if you compare it with the Circle Line), allowing me to travel to the other side of the town in around 20 minutes. (As an curiosity here is a little schema of the station where I start travel, Notting Hill Gate. It belongs to a page which features tube maps quite distinct to the official ones)
But sometimes, there are "Severe Delays" - which can mean that
a) someone has decided to suicide (I have fortunately never been in the same station where it occurred)
b) a signal failed and therefore the train cannot go on.
So I have to take the horrible Circle Line... and fingers crossed!!