Traveling when pregnant can sometimes be a chore. In fact any movement in the later stages of pregnancy is a huge accomplishment. You can waddle back and forth (and trust me you will waddle) but you get tired just climbing the stairs. So imagine having to travel across London every day when you are 7/8 months pregnant! Will the silly lady in the corner please stand up!
As I previously mentioned I was living in London when I fell pregnant and that meant an horrendous daily jaunt across London to get from my flat in the the NE to my job in the SW. 3 hours a day spent moving from bus to train to tube to train will ensure that you end up with ankles four times their normal size!
So what did I learn from my experiences, apart from the fact that you should never drink a large de-caff latte just before you board a train with no toilet, I learnt that there are four types of fellow travelers.
Type 1: The gracious traveler
These lovely types (mostly woman in my experience) will immediately move or offer their seat to you. They will do this without the need for a great show or making you feel like it is an inconvenience to them. They will simply smile and point to the now empty seat. You are extremely grateful to them.
Type 2: The reluctant traveler
These people will begrudgingly give up there seat, but only after about 5 minutes of watching you stand, gripping on for dear life as the train hurtles from stop to stop. These types will huff and puff as they make a grand gesture of moving to allow the pregnant woman to sit down. 'Look at me fellow commuters, look at how gracious I am giving up my seat for this woman. You should all be ashamed making her stand' Never mind the fact that you yourself just made me stand for the last 5 minutes!
Type 3: The distracted traveler
This is the traveler that avoids eye contact at all cost, they are not giving up their seat without a fight and even though they clocked you getting on at Waterloo they will feign interest in anything but you, just to avoid having to move. My boyfriend delighted in telling these types to move, especially when they happened to be in the priority seat. They would look all shocked and surprised as if to say 'my goodness I was so caught up in this article about the increasing price of fish that I didn't even notice the lady stood right in front of me, her bump practically touching my nose'. Personal space goes out the window when you are traveling in London, I have been closer to some people on the tube then I would consider decent in the first few months of a new relationship!
Type 4: The selfish traveler...that is surely going to the bad place when they leave this mortal coil!
These last types are the worst of the worst, they are the people that will push past you to get the last available seat. 'Never mind that her need is obviously greater than mine, I am getting that seat. If I have to move heaven and earth and flatten a pregnant woman in the process'. And yes these types, although rare, really do exist.
Please don't get me wrong, I never assumed for a moment that I should be entitled to a seat just because I was with child. However common decency should suggest that you sacrifice your own comfort for the comfort of those that are less able then you. I know I always have done and besides what is the point in living if we don't raise our heads every now and then to take a look around. Let the world in and for goodness sake just give up your bl**dy seat, don't be so obtuse!!