Ash and I live a 5 minute walk from a train station. It's very convenient because there are direct trains to major London stations from there. They are supposed to take only about 20 or so minutes. We also have an added bonus of a bus stop directly outside our door. Since moving to England, public transport has become a part of my daily routine. Some days I love public transport - I am not only grateful for it, but I actually enjoy my journey. Other days I seriously wonder if I should be seeing a psychiatrist about my feelings of rage caused by a simple train journey.
No matter how early I leave the house, the trains are never on time. Even if my train does not make me noticeably late, the point is that I do not ever arrive at my destination at the promised time. Combine this with crowds of people and bad weather and it's no wonder everyone is so moody on the trains.
I can not tell you how many times I have come in after a day at work or school and just wanted to scream ''F*@k public transport!'' A good day or a fun night out can easily turn sour because of delays, waiting, and pushy people. I don't know if it's depressing, or something to be proud of, but I have become one of those pushy people. When I first moved here, I was so polite, ''oh no after you'', letting people push past me to get a seat on a crowded bus, tube or train. Well, 2 years later, no more Miss Nice Girl. I deserve that seat just as much as you do (exceptions being pregnant ladies or cute little old men and women). Do you know that rap song ''moove b*tch get out the way, get out the way''? Elbow jabs are sometimes neccessary to score a seat in the morning.
Another thing I hate about public transport is the way that no one smiles at each other or starts up a conversation. I'm not sure if this is because I am American or if it has something to do with the way that my mom finds the need to talk to every single stranger she meets, but if a girl has on a cute jacket or a man is reading a book that I've read, I want to comment on it. I don't need to make a new friend or have a huge converstion, I just want to say ''oh good book''. (I can assure you that this will result in strange looks and short one word answers) I do still try to make converstation with these grumps - especially after a few drinks when the train turns into my personal talk show where I am the host and the passangers are my guests about to be interviewed.
It's certainly nice to have public transport there when you want it. To not have to figure out directions to get somewhere, just to have to figure out what stops to get off. I've discovered that buses are my friend. For the most part they are reliable and if you miss your bus there is usually another one close by or an alternate route you can take. And especialy in central London buses are the most fun. London is such an amazing city and being on the bus can be like a little tour.
Hands down the best reason for public transport is not having to worry about a designated driver. It is so nice for me and Ash to be able to just hop on the bus or train to go out to dinner and not have to worry about who will have to drive home. I'm sure there are fewer drunk driving incidents here. It would be so nice if at Home you could plan a night out, a concert or sports event without thinking about who has to drive or worrying about getting a cab.
It's not like I really miss driving. I always think that I do, and then when I am Home I drive for a day before I am over it. I just miss the space and freedom of my own car. Also, I can wear my earphones and listen to my itunes all I want on the train / tube / bus, but that doesn't compare to being able to sing in the car to a good song with the windows down. Some days I miss that soooo much. But that being said, there are certainly times that I love public transport and I know that when I move back Home one day that there will be times that I will miss it. I've never really had to experience driving to work at Home, at least not in a 9-5 type job. I'm sure that if I did I would have some complaints about that too and wish that I could just hop on a train. I am definitely not going to learn how to drive on the opposite side of the road so while I am here it will be public transport for me love it hate it.