As sure as travel costs increase every year, without question, the calibre of commuter changes from day to night. Gone are the uptight office-types who quite frankly, never appear to be on time, “I’m late, I’m late, for a very important…meeting.” Gone is the unwelcomed invasion of personal space and those passengers who still insist on reading their broadsheets across the carriage.
In their place we see groups of excited passengers travelling into the night for any manner of reasons: an evening at the theatre, a romantic meal, late night shopping, a long overdue get together.
Last night I was treated to an abundance of chitter chatter in the form of a group of old uni friends taking their annual trip to the city. I know this because they were more than vocal in announcing their presence on the 20:17 to London Waterloo. I learnt quite a lot from this pristinely dressed group, including:
- “Afternoon tea at Charlotte’s wasn’t half as awkward as I thought it would be”
- Lidl do a great range of perfumes
- “Sophie is expecting her third child.” This received mixed reactions: “Not another one,” and “I told you she was loaded,” and “I’m so jealous, how does she do it?” The last comment was greeted with rapturous laughter and rather red-faced embarrassment from the young lady who realised the context of her question.
It wasn’t long before conversation turned to that old favourite – reminiscing. Each lady reliving her fondest memory of years gone by, from fashion faux pas to early morning cramming sessions while fighting a hang over. Then, it got interesting. First impressions. Hearing the giggles and gasps as each lady gave an honest account of her initial thoughts on each of the other, was addictive.
“I couldn’t stand that asymmetric bob you modelled for at least two years, it looked quite ridiculous.”
“I remember asking you for money within, like, 30 minutes of knowing your name. How embarrassing.”
But, the Christmas cracker of a comment came from the young lady in the window seat, who, until now, had been relatively quiet.
“Do you know what I honestly thought when we first met? That you were gay, and after a piece of me. Absolute truth. I just kept telling myself, not a chance.”
I cannot begin to explain the level of hilarity this brought to the carriage. Not only did the group of young ladies find this revelation side-splittingly funny, but any commuter within ear shot was quietly sniggering to themselves, too.
I kinda wish I’d been able to follow this group around as they celebrated the season in obvious style. Same time next year, girls?