Monthly Archives: May 2011

The Dublin train station penguin dance

It is that time in the evening. Time for public transport penguin games.

This is were you stand on the platform waiting for the train.

The trick to ensure you actually get a seat on the train is to turn up early, wait for the train before the one you want, watch it pull into the station then carefully remember where on the track the train doors are.

Of course it is not just you playing this game, it feels like it is half the population of Dublin.

You will undoubtedly get your position wrong, it is rare to actually get it right – I think the train drivers enjoy stopping at different locations just to watch the result….

As the train starts to halt you and the remaining half of Dublin realise the nearest train door is not going to stop at your carefully selected spot. The shuffle starts, the weird penguin like line dance of what feels like hundreds of people shuffling side ways trying to to ensure that they make it to the door first.

It is a difficult dance to get right, you’ve got to make sure that the person next to you doesn’t get on the train first, make sure you don’t end up under the train, and do it in some pseudo form of politeness… the golden rule of which consists of “dont stamp on your neighbours feet”. The result is a strangle sideways foot shuffle as you bump and rub shoulders with the rest of your fellow passengers.

From a distance, in our dark businesses clothing we must all looked like a bunch penguins shuffling on the platform. Odd isn’t it despite our sophistication and modern gadgets we end up looking like a bunch of frozen birds from the other side of the planet?

You know the Japanese solved this problem.. they painted lines on the platform indicating the location of train doors, with a big arrow that says “queue here”… now there is sophistication for you!

Best go… here is my train! Shuffle.. shuffle… whoops sorry about your toe!