It’s a pretty monumental place, Glasgow. The famous letters of certain locations spread on the curved walls of the city’s subway stations fill you with a weird sense of pride. I live here. This is my home. All of it. The good, the bad and the ugly.
It may seem slightly odd to contemplate life as a whole while travelling at speeds of around 50mph hour in a long, darkened tunnel under a major city in a tube shaped object but the fact of the matter is, we all do it. Where else are we going to remind ourselves we need to up sticks, book a non-returnable flight and open that beach bar in Fiji? Well, while travelling to our 9-5 daily grind that’s when.
You can see it in their eyes. Your fellow travellers. All hunched forward either pretending to be amused by the latest social media extravaganza or reading that book they’ve read three times already. Perhaps they are simply staring out the slightly dirt ridden window of the carriage asking themselves what could have been.
It’s not all pessimism and manufactured happiness, fear not. Amongst the Monday morning depression there is hope. That one commuter with a genuine, organic smile slapped across their face. Why I hear you ask? How can this be possible on such a tedious and repetitive journey?
They are lucky.
These people consider themselves lucky. Lucky to live in this big, ‘bad’ city. Lucky to be travelling through the beating heart of the country. Lucky to be becoming a part of history in an ever growing and evolving city by riding the subway through it every day. It’s a look of fascination and joy that ends up bringing a smile to the face of a ‘huncher’ in an instant, no matter how small that smile may be, its message and relevance remains.
The city will change. The subway will change. But perhaps it’s the small things like appreciating being one of the many important cogs that keep the city and its services ticking that will bring that smile to your face on that cold Monday morning.
As you hop off the tube shaped object (remember and be wary of the ‘gaps’…) you will emerge from the dark tunnel into the light but as odd as it may seem, perhaps that little bit of happiness can be found on those upholstered seats.