The Shortcut

Some may be surprised to learn that I’ve become quite punctual in the UK. I’ve, in fact, put a lot of effort into ensuring that I am on time for things. One could argue that, perhaps, this is because I have so little control of those things which determine if I will, or can be on time. Will my train be stuck in the tunnel? Will there be a signal failure? Will the train car be too full for me to fit with my bag? I must always leave 15-20 minutes extra in order to accomodate the occasional problems.
So during our first month here, I set my watch ahead (not paying too much attention to how far ahead)–with this, I am uncertain of the time and more likely to honor the time that’s on my watch than not. It’s worked.

But in addition to setting my watch ahead, I’ve also discovered a couple other tricks along the way. First, I wear comfy shoes to the train (I can save 2-3 minutes on both ends of my trip by wearing comfy shoes–that’s 4-6 minutes total each way, 8-12 minutes total on my daily commute). And second, I keep my oyster card (the tube pass enabled with an RFID) securely in my wristlet purse (thank you, Toni!) so that I can buzz through the tube turnsyltes without fumbling to find my card. And, finally, I guiltally cut through a graveyard/park to save a few minutes as I near campus.


For at least a month after school began I felt that cutting through the Bunhill Fields Cemetary was a bit rude (a cemetary for non-conformists from the 1600’s…many died of the plague), I resisted the shortcut through the cemetary. Not only was the cemetary a bit creepy, but I felt that, despite the broad walk running through, I would be disturbing those laid to rest here (and the grave stones were a bit scary with moss and skulls engraved on the tombs). But now, I actually look forward to walking through the graveyard on my way–there are lots of trees, it’s restful and peaceful and it’s a bit of an oasis in the midst of all the city hustle and bustle. And, I discovered, the CITY intends for folks to cut through, limiting my guilt.

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