Public Transportation Horror Stories: We’ve All Got Them

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If you’ve taken public transportation for any period of time, you likely seen, heard, and, uh… smelled a lot of very strange things. This week’s guest blogger shares her own hilarious public transportation horror stories. Perhaps the London Underground should start warning passengers to “Mind the Lap” instead…

If you’re English, you’ll know it as the Tube. If you’re American, it’s the subwaaay. Elsewhere it’s the Metro. Toh-may-toh, toh-mah-toh. Poh-tay-toh, poh-tah-toh.

Just wanted an excuse to put this little guy in, to be honest.

Just wanted an excuse to put this little guy in, to be honest.

Whatever name you give your underground trains, they are universally sweaty, cramped and pumped full of VERY ANGRY SHOVING. They also have that super-bright, super-unflattering strip lighting that – when you catch a glimpse of your pallid reflection – horrifies you so much you swear you’ll never leave the house again. LIKE, EVER.

The Underground in London – as around the world – is a big old CORNUCOPIA of fun and games. Fun like ending up with your face in someone’s armpit. Games like ‘will I actually get into work before 11am?!’. (Answer: No.)


Now doesn’t that look cosy, my loves?

Now doesn’t that look cosy, my loves?


You never know what might happen on public transportation. Case in point – a friend of mine once actually managed to conduct an entire relationship between Oxford Circus and Brixton, despite the strip lighting, so you have to applaud her. The vixen met him, pulled him and broke it off, all within six stops. A modern day Romeo and Juliet, those two.

Another friend of mine – let’s name and shame you, Emma – once fell over on the train (not unusual) but the speed at which the train was travelling sent her rolling down the carriage like a sausage… a beautiful, streamline sausage, I hasten to add. Off she rolled, right down the carriage.

My own Ultimate Worst Tube Tale is from a few years ago. I was travelling alone and, with every seat claimed, was forced to stand between seated commuters in the aisle, trying to stay upright. I don’t tend to hold on to any rails or overhead straps to keep my balance for three main reasons:


2. Setting myself the challenge of not falling over

3. Working on my CORE

All three very important, I’m sure you’ll agree.

This journey though was the bumpiest ride I’ve ever experienced on the Tube. And, given that I was trying to surf the bumps hands-free, one violent jolt sent me flopping RIGHT into the lap of the middle-aged man behind me.

AWFULLY EMBARRASSING, NO? Unfortunately, it gets worse.

The train was SO incredibly bumpy that I physically could not get up OUT of this gentleman’s lap. Each time I TRIED to stand back up, the locomotive’s locomotion sent me bouncing back down onto him.

Up and down.

UP and DOWN.

I act out this anecdote with great gusto at parties and get my main man Tony Baggins to play the innocent lap dance victim. But – if you can imagine without a reconstruction – it was basically just me bouncing around in this man’s lap while nobody did anything to help. Even the man himself did nothing and seemed to be paralysed in fear. I bloody hope it was fear, anyway. I would guess that his free lap dance lasted about 30 seconds. Thirty awful, embarrassing, and incredibly awkward seconds.

I’d like to ask you to do one thing: count to 30 now and please appreciate just how long that actually is.


Have any of your very own public transportation horror stories to share? Leave them in the comments section!



The lady behind “Disasters of a Thirtysomething” is a Brit with a knack for making things awkward. Follow her regular disaster tales on her hilarious blog, Twitter: @30disasters, and Instagram: @disastersofathirtysomething.


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This post was written by a kick-ass guest blogger. Interested in guest blogging for Daily Urbanista? Shoot us an email: [email protected].

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