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Fine Dining on London's Underground

October 13, 2011
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Eating on London’s Underground

Everyday I see people living out their lives travelling through London’s underground service. On top of reading; preparing a presentation or a speech for work; slapping on their make up; couples kissing; swigging on orange juice, coffee or beer; people eat. But I think there might be rules of engagement on eating…

There are of course tube rules. Like for example, you should always give up your seat to the pregnant or elderly. You should never engage in any form of interaction with those sitting millimetres away from either side of you. One I recently learnt, was you should carry rather than wear your rucksack. But what are the rules on eating?

I think the overarching rule of the tube is that despite being so closely rammed like battery chickens, your area is a very private and personal spatial sphere. In those few moments you spend together you shouldn’t enter or interrupt anyone’s sphere in anyway. I define ‘anyone’ in terms of the five senses. If at any moment you interrupt anyone of their sense’s you’ve broken the rules… 

For example:

Sense 1: Hearing: Don’t play music too loudly. Don’t speak to them.

Sense 2: Touch: The most lenient of the rules, but every attempt should be made for no part of your bodies to make contact. This comes into dispute when both commuter want to use both armrests. 

Sense 3: Taste: it really goes without saying that in no way should you interfere with their sense of taste. I guess rule breaking might be attempting to feed them. Fortunately it doesn’t happen very often. 

Sense 4: Sight: You should at no point lock in eye contact with another commuter. 

Sense 5: Smell: At no point should you embark in an action that would offend other travellers sense of smell. This includes not using appropriate levels of deodorant or I guess… indulging in smelly food.

Therefore to conclude this post on the rules of eating underground, food can only be eaten if it releases unnoticeable or inoffensive particles into the tube atmosphere. An example of such food might be an apple or biscuit. A rule breaker might be cooked food such as takeaway or smelly cold food such as fish or cheese. 

Eaten Today:

06.30 Fruit and Fibre
09.40 Banana x2
14.40 Malaysian Chicken Risotto 
17.50 Biscuit
19.40 Noodles  
 

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