21 December 2006

The Fun About Safety

While trying to be faster than the other 99 people in Covent Garden Station that were waiting for the lifts (the Tube runs 50-60 metres below the surface, in Vienna the underground tunnels are usually 20 metres down), I tried the stairs. - I should maybe leave this standing there because it is a joke for itself, you will find out why in a second. When I reached the top 15 minutes later, panting and having the feeling that I achieved my fitness deed for the last week, there was a sign that said, "This stair has 192 steps, please use only in an emergency situation".

This event inspired me devote a blog post on the curiosities of safety precautions that I have encountered so far and that are documented below:

This is your way out from the Tube in an emergency. I assume that a rush of adrenaline will get you up in no time:

While people are getting on and off the train there are repeated announcements to "Mind the Gap!" Sometimes, especially when the platform is bended, you have to take care not to fall into the abyss between itself and the train:

The picture above was taken a SOAS toilet cubicle (during the holidays when the building was deserted, of course). When I was new, I wondered what the hell is this strip for?? What kind of emergency are they speaking about??? The sticker reads, "Security will attend immediately on activation of this alarm. Do not activate this alarm unless you are in a emergency situation." I later found out that this is actually a rape alarm, at least for the female toilets. I wonder if they these alarms on the men's toilets too (perhaps more in case of a mugging):
Some of you might have already seen this picture, taken in a women's WC. Quite ironical, don't you think?
Last but not least (I hope you can enlarge this photo, if not tell me), Dinwiddy's restrictions on Christmas decorations. Most gravely, we are not allowed real trees! Speaking of which, I haven't seen any places where you can buy them (1) and I don't know if you can take them into the Tube (2).

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