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Tuesday, 27 March 2007

Falling Standards

I enjoy living in London, specifically south east London.

OK then, I only really like Dulwich, but I am more than happy to celebrate being part of this socially and ethnically diverse population that is London. I consider myself to be cosmopolitan and open minded. Indeed, I catch the Number 3 Bus which goes through Brixton most days of the week and I am usually not even frightened!

On the top deck all manner of daily functions are carried out by commuters. People chat to each other, talk on their mobile phones, read books, newspapers and care for their pets (big dogs and occasional snakes... yikes!!!). Indeed, I watch children eat their breakfast from small individual cereal boxes each morning with their hands! None of this behaviour usually offends me.

When I was a girl, it was not considered good form to eat on public transport and certainly never in one's school uniform. I realise that times have changed. Most mornings I sit with my brushed steel Thermos coffee cup, drinking the lovely Latte that my super au pair Ana hands me as I dash out of the door. I stare out of the window, catch up on emails and texts on my Blackberry and read my copy of The Times.

There are still a few things I would rather not witness on the bus, for example, the occasional intimate telephone conversation or the couple who are trying hard to swallow eachother.

I really do not feel the bus is the appropriate environment in which to apply make-up, in particular mascara (mostly for health and safety reasons). What if the bus was to swerve or stop suddenly – that woman could be blinded! Sometimes it feels as though I am sitting in her bathroom with her. She applies her make-up on the bus every single morning. It is terrifying to watch.

Then there is the woman who I recently observed plucking the irritating whisker on her chin with a tweezers. That was so not a good look for a public place. Too intimate a procedure, don't you agree?

This morning, I was actually sitting next to a woman who was painting her toe nails!!!

In the name of God, it was rather a cold morning too. Why was she not wearing stockings? There she was, oblivious to the world around her, using obscene language each time the bus moved sharply. Has she no idea of the cost of a pair of wool crepe Episode trousers? My clothes could have been ruined, not to mention the seats of the bus!

Toenails should never be painted, or swear words used while the children are trying to eat their breakfast...

I should not be surprised if these people hang out their laundry to dry it on the hand rails next, floss their teeth and wax their bikini lines. Really, all life is here, God help me, Dulwich is far too close to Brixton for my liking…


Pig in the Kitchen said...

Gosh! I wonder if these people go to the shops in their slippers? My mum told me that was as close to the bottom of the barrel as you could get! When I was at university I once went to the shop in my slippers carrying a mug of tea. It was to break her spell. Very cathartic. Watch out for slippers on that bus!

Babysteps said...

There is a horrible trend here in Canada for teenagers to go out in their flannel pajama bottoms. And now, I see adults wearing them too. IMO, that is just setting the bar waaaaaay too low.

Your toenail story reminds me of my old admin assistant, who used to clip her nails every day at her desk. Snip, snip, snip. The sound made me insane, as I could just imagine horrid little nail pieces everywhere. Ick. There are somethings that should only be done in the privacy of one's bathroom.

Nunhead Mum of One said...

you have obviously not seen the trend, as served in Jenny's cafe's up and down the land of a Breakfast bap: egg, bacon, sausage, mushrooms and beans in a bap. Pray hard, dear sister, that you don't sit next to one of those in the morning.

Heidi said...

I did once see a woman on the tube flossing her teeth!!

And on our skiing holiday some people were walking around the hotel restaurant wearing only their thermal underwear.

What is this world coming to!!!???

dulwichmum said...

What is the world coming to?

Anonymous said...

Your blogs all make me writhe with utter embarrasment at your blatant snobbery!