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I step off the 🚊...

March 13, 2016

Ok, before you give me some serious side eye, let me explain. 


Usually, I'd be the first to complain, or in reality, sit there silently tutting to myself. Honestly. 

The one thing I cannot bear?  Obnoxious, noxious fumes of other peoples fast food.

It could be anything from an innocent little Boots Shapers Tuna Cucumber sandwich to stale oily fried fries and gherkiny burgers eaten out of soggy paper bags; the mucky Mackers' stench that can envelope what the little personal space you have, that gets right up the cavities of your nostrils, whilst travelling on a train.


However, today, I'd gone without lunch and was facing a journey home on a Southbound train with a rumbling stomach, and, and, and I knew it wasn't going to make a serious dent in my hunger, but I blame the neon lure of the Whistlestop Victoria, as to why bought an offensively pungent giant grab bag of Walkers Worcestershire crisps. 


I tentatively took the packet from my bag and split I the seal, instantly aware of the spicy sweet pong emitting from my crisp bag.


But, I was one of the first passengers to board the carriage and settle into my seat. So I began confidently crunching through the largest looking crisps, alone, aware that any moment the carriage would begin to fill. 


Are there others out there, like me, that have the same olfactory sensitivities?

Because, I promise; I am always very self-conscious when considering any food choices if I absolutely have to Have To consume anything, anywhere other than at an eatery. 


A knackered businessman sits next to me and I try to eat my crisps as delicately and as quickly as I can. 


Then a bundle of women board, they're from "up North" (they say this out loud about 45 times), they have a number of container ship like consignments of luggage and they spread themselves about the carriage like Betty Crocker frosting, getting themselves and their possessions into every crack of space around me and the businessman, who is now filling in a spreadsheet and the women spill into the space around him.


They bust open a Tupperware tub of egg sandwiches, sausage rolls and (it has been a warm Spring day) crack a warm two little bottle of cola, which like Vesuvius, erupts. 


Then to my wonderment, removing any self-conscienceness from opening my stinking crisps, one of the ladies takes out a stack of full-sized Ikea Pokal glasses and half fills them from a litre bottle of Tia Maria. 


They cackle, It's coz we're Northern, can't take us anywhere" and they too erupt in fits of laughter. 

It's like watching a Kay Mellor film about middle-aged women who've never been to London before, but strangers across the carriage smile at each other. Maureen covered in coke shouts "What am I like?" all whilst crumbs of flaky pastry fly in the air over the upholstery, Tia Maria and coke dries to a sticky syrup on the floor, the train rumbles on toward Gatwick smelling of egg and sweet coffee. 


Usually I’d be a bit annoyed at having to contend with the smell of sulphur, of being potentially covered in other people's crumbs, but due to the lengths these ladies went to, I can only applaud them for their preparations. 

Making Samiches expressly for the journey? Bravo! For bringing out full sized glass glasses on the train, I commend you Ladies!


What an entertaining ride home, and thanks for taking the heat off me sitting quietly in the corner eating my spicy crisps, Ladies! 

I only wish I'd had popcorn. 




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