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    « Adventures in Hospital | Main | Heigh-Ho, Heigh-Ho... »

    Changing Buses at The Elephant

    Travelling on London's public transport in the 35 degree heat we had last week is not fun. None of London Transport - with the exception of a few of the modernised suburban rail links - is air conditioned. The tube in particular is a nightmare. Would I be being too graphic if I described being packed in like a sardine with your nose in some unknown sweaty commuter's armpit, and the risk of getting stuck in a tunnel at any time? Probably, so I'll gloss over it. But that is why I choose to travel by bus in the summer as often as possible.

    But then, so does half of London.

    And changing buses at the The Elephant is bad enough at the best of times.


    For starters, seven different routes use my stop. There are so many chances to miss the bus I need: It flies past a line of those already stopped, not realising I want to get on; it stops right at the back of a long line of waiting buses and pulls away before I've reached it; oh, and half the other people at that stop want my bus too, and there simply isn't room for all of us.

    Changing buses at The Elephant in 35 degree heat whilst on crutches is particularly bad.

    Changing buses at The Elephant in 35 degree heat whilst on crutches and hypoglycaemic is impossible. It's a proven fact.

    And you know, sitting down on London's pavements isn't a good idea. I love London, but you only have to visit any other city in the world to realise how dirty it is. Yes, especially The Elephant - if you visited the link above, don't be fooled,  it is currently little more than a giant tatty roundabout, with a hideous red shopping centre at its heart.

    Perhaps I looked a peculiar site sitting there with the Guardian periodically wailing like a banshee and tears of frustration - at being low again, at being unable to accomplish the simple task of getting on a bus to go home - streaming down my face, throwing the contents of my bag into a heap in a desperate search for glucose tablets.

    The only good thing about The Elephant is that anything goes.

    So I'm sure nobody really batted an eyelid.

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    Hope you are back in range again Caro!

    I cannot even imagine being in a large city like London, having to commute with public transportation, in a heat wave like the one most of Europe recently experienced. Here, in Denmark, we "only" had 33.7 degrees, but it was still almost unbearable hot. I read somewhere on the Internet that temperatures of the London Metro were cruising at 47 degrees in the heat and lack of air condition!

    I have often, retrospectively, thought about how much people notice when you are fighting a bad hypo in public. My guess is not much, which on the one hand is kind of nice, but on the other hand it is a bit scary too. I know how I work in slow motion when I am low, and the help from other people - just by finding the glucose tabs and handing them to me - in these situations will greatly shorten the time of me being in the hypo-foggy world. I think that we are taught to mind our own business though, not look at other people just because they may seem a bit strange/uncomfortable, which is why you must fall, on the edge of passing out, to be noticed and helped (tried that once on the central station of Odense).

    I am really feeling for you Caro! You are going through an especially rough period here, and it is particularly agonising for me (mostly because there's nothing I can do for you!!).

    This too will pass though - and you will find your balance again.

    i rode "the tube" when i was in london, it was august i think.

    it's indescribable.


    I would get totally lost(even if I weren't hypo) I can't travel buses. Metro rail is enough of a challenge.
    You're a brave soul,Caro- that truly sounds like one of the worse possible places to have a hypo. Hang in there, take your time,(getting to where you need to go) and stay well stocked in glucose tablets.

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    Heidi - 47 degrees sounds about right for the tube. It has been much cooler these last few days though, which is a blessing. And I agree about how much people notice hypos.

    Scott - thanks as always. You do enough just by reading and commenting.

    Kacey - yeah, it is indescribable. I couldn't do it justice in words. But I still absolutely love the tube

    Type1emt - it is funny, I regard buses just the same as I do the tube. I know in my head schematic representations of where at least 20 different bus routes go, in the same way that I have good knowledge in my head of the schematic London Underground Map. Buses in unfamiliar cotoes are always much more overwhelming than metro or underground though. I'm not sure why, you'd think that the fact you can see where you are heading would be good. But then I guess you don't know where you are heading anyway, if you don't know the city.

    And yeah, I'm thinking of getting shares in glucose tab companies!

    Richard - technically this is spam, but I'll let it ride this once...

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