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The difference an hour makes. 10, May 2012

Posted by Iphigenia in Glasgow.
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The hours I work and the length of my commute (it’s short) means I can afford what most can’t; a few extra minutes in bed on a morning. I’m usually wandering through the city centre at half past nine and although it’s still fairly busy, everyone else is obviously at work already. It’s also too early for tourists or people who have the day off.

Sometimes I’ll need to be at work earlier than usual. Today was one of those days. I got an earlier train from my little part of Glasgow and that alone was noticeably busier. It might be something to do with the rain. A lot of people who might normally walk part of the way to work probably decided to sack that idea off this morning. I was on a train that doesn’t call at very many places so isn’t normally the busiest. As I walked onto the train I immediately clattered my leg against a workman’s┬ábucket full of plaster related wonders. It hurt but I composed myself and sat down in the only seat I could find.

Things got worse when I arrived at Queen Street station. For a start my normally cheap ticket broke the five-pound mark. What I rip-off I thought! Then I remembered that if I regularly travelled at this time I’d probably get a zonecard. I’m still (just) young enough for a young persons railcard but I can’t use that before 10. Even worse I was travelling before 9 so I didn’t get the off-peak fare.

As soon as I walked out onto Buchanan Street I was met by a sea of people heading towards me with few gaps. It was worse than I’ve ever experienced – and I have survived Christmas and several Old Firm days since I moved here. In those situations I have to become something I don’t like – you’ve got to start being rude. People won’t move out of your way so you have to dodge around them and if they’re not watching where they’re going well, tough luck. It’s half past eight in the morning. Stop texting, start walking!

When I got closer to the other main station the crowd only thickened. It became so thick that I was in danger of having to duck between legs – I was definitely in danger of being hit by a brolly or two. Apparently being dark haired and only just average height for a woman renders me invisible. I feel lucky to still have both eyes.

Inside the station I felt like I must be the only person in Scotland who lives in Glasgow but works elsewhere. It was like the entire population of the central belt was storming towards me. No chance of employing rude tactics here, there was just too many of them. I had to skirt around the edges of the suited and booted masses and hope I didn’t walk into a wall. I managed to grab a Metro at least. That always wastes a bit of time on the train. If nothing else it makes me think “at least I didn’t pay for this,” – you can take the girl out of Yorkshire…

This might all read like a boring observation to some but it has a point. I think I’ve found something I actually don’t like about Glasgow. It’s half past eight in the morning on a week day.