Mind the Gap!

My daily commute in London is much different than the one I’ve been used to in Pittsburgh. I used to roll out of bed an hour before class and leave 15 minutes to walk and get there on time. Now, I wake up at least two hours before my workday starts or an hour and a half before my school day starts (depending on what day it is). For example, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, I wake up two hours before work to get ready for my day. I allow about 40 minutes for my journey on the tube, so I leave our flat at ten past eight a.m. I hop on the Bakerloo line south line and switch stations at Piccadilly circus to get on the Piccadilly line where I get off at Knightsbridge. Luckily, the tube station is a few feet down from where I work so I do not have to walk far. However, when I do have time, sometimes I walk the long way to work by exiting at an exit further away from my office just to take in the sights of Knightsbridge and get ready for the day. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I leave our flat at forty minutes past eight to get to the CAPA center at 9:30 a.m. Again, I take the Bakerloo line south, but this time I switch stations at Paddington and take the Circle or District line west to get off either at Earl’s court or Gloucester road. It was after a few close calls that I realized I needed to check the “Citymapper” app early to make sure I would make it to my appointments on time. “Citymapper” is an app that many in London recommend because it acts like google maps to provide navigation as well as live reports of any delays and closures on the tube. As a study abroad student in London, if you do nothing else, at least download “Citymapper”! Additionally, be prepared to get sardined on the tube. Commuting during rush hour can be difficult because everyone is trying to jump into a tiny train car at the same time. Also, remember to be courteous when you need to get off the train, no one likes someone who just pushes past without saying anything. But in the end, relax, move back once the doors open, put on some music, read some materials for class, and most importantly, mind the gap between the train and the platform!